Action / Comedy / Crime / Drama / Mystery / Thriller
Action / Comedy / Crime / Drama / Mystery / Thriller
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Oddball cop and tough guy, Jack Cates is the only survivor of a cop shooting and in hunting down the murderer collects Reggie Hammond from jail for 48 hours. Hammond is oddly motivated to help. The killer is searching for his stash of cash. Cates and Hammond who have the Black-white, cop-crook thing to work out make surprisingly good partners as they navigate through the city looking for their suspect. —John Vogel.
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
Aug 15, 2021 at 03:59 PM
grade Movie Reviews
Slam-Bang Shoot;em Up Saga Set in San Francisco
This gritty city buddy picture about an incorruptible, hard-as-nails, San Francisco plainclothes detective and a convict on a weekend pass who team up to track down a couple of ruthless, cold-blooded killers with a half-million dollars at stake qualifies as an above-average opus. Nick Nolte was well on his way to super-stardom when he shared the screen with "Saturday Night Live" sensation Eddie Murphy in his feature film debut. "Hard Times" writer & director Walter Hill and scenarist Roger Spottiswoode deserve credit for conjuring up--with co-scribes Larry Gross of "Streets of Fire" and Steven E. de Souza of "Die Hard"--a tough-guy action thriller that was short of originality but long on the charisma that its two stars generated. Reportedly, producer Lawrence Gordon had an idea that barely resembled the outcome. In the Gordon premise, a criminal abducts the Louisiana governor's daughter, attaches an explosive device to her head, and demands ransom in 48 hours. The brutal cop assigned to the case recruits the kidnapper's prison cell mate to assist him on the investigation. Actually, they could have made the Gordon plot as a straight-to-video spin-off. After a hardened criminal, Albert Ganz (James Remar of "The Warriors"), escapes from a California chain-gang, Ganz with his crazy-as-a-loon Indian partner Billy Bear (Sonny Landham of "Predator"), they head for San Francisco to get the cash that their cohorts, Luther (Daniel Patrick Kelly of "The Warriors") and Reggie Hammond (Eddie Murphy) have secretly stashed in a convertible WV sports car in a garage. Rough-hewn Jack Cates (Nick Nolte of "North Dallas Forty") decides to take a chance on a loud-mouthed convict who knows Ganz. Reggie has served almost three years on his sentence in San Quentin with six months left when Cates comes a-calling. Reggie convinces Cates to spring him and Cates forges a signature to get Reggie out of stir. The two have a hard time getting along initially but by the dust has settled, they are literally as thick-as-thieves. The shoot-outs are as thuggish as the characters squeezing the trigger as our heroes hunt down the hair-trigger villains. Neither Ganz nor Billy Bear show any qualms about blasting cops and taking hostages. Literally, there is never a dull moment. "48 HRS" may not have been the first cops and robbers shoot'em up in the 80s to feature a foul-mouthed, screaming police superior--Frank McRae fits the bill to a tee--but it was probably near the top. Some say "48 HRS" spawned the police buddy picture genre, but they are presumptious. The earliest buddy picture about cops was "In the Heat of the Night" (1967) with Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger. "48 HRS" might have inspired the pairings of other stars in an urban actioneer, and the Jack Cates character served as a prototype for Mel Gibson's suicidal "Lethal Weapon" hero Martin Riggs. You cannot help but wonder if Spottiswoode and Hill weren't inspired by Akira Kurosawa's 1949 crime thriller "Stray Dog" because Cates loses his .44 Smith & Wesson revolver early on during the action. Cates is trying to help Detective Algren (Jonathan Banks of "Beverly Hills Cop") and Detective Vanzant (James Keane of "Apocalypse Now") make an arrest at the Walden Hotel. Ganz surprises the cops when he slips out of his room by another door and comes up behind them in the hallway. A gunfight erupts. Vanzant takes a couple of slugs in the chest, and Ganz threatens to finish off Algren. Ganz grabs Cates' handgun just as Toshirô Mifune lost his pistol in "Stray Dog." Nolte and Murphy make a perfectly matched but mismatched heroic pair who spend most of their time in each other's faces. They develop a grudging respect for each other after a savage slugfest on the sidewalk. Miraculously, Reggie's Giorgio Armani suit isn't torn to shreds during their knock-down, drag-out brawl. These guys run into more trouble from the law as they close in on Ganz and Billy. At least twice they find themselves interfered with by men in blue. Eventually, they corner the villains in Chinatown and blast it out with them. The ending with Ganz holding Reggie at gunpoint as a human shield against the sullen Cates is straight out of "Dirty Harry." The relentless action, the wisecracking--mostly improvised--dialogue, and memorable performances by Nolte and Murphy boost this routine thriller. Murphy's scene in a redneck bar as he masquerades as a cop makes this police movie worth watching. Indeed, Murphy garnered an Golden Globe nomination for his debut performance. Hill anted up a sequel "Another 48 HRS" about eight years later with Nolte and Murphy reprising their roles.
Average script carried by Nolte and Murphy
If one was looking for a good example of how great acting can carry a so-so script, 48 hrs would be a good choice.Nick Nolte is perfectly cast as 'Jack Cates', a rumpled, gruff cop on the hunt for an escaped killer. He elicits the help of a smooth talking, jailed convict who is connected to the killer, 'Reggie Hammond', who again is perfectly played by Eddie Murphy. Over the next 48 hours, the two polar opposites not only fight their way to the killer, but fight each other as well, making for some very memorable scenes. Yet, by the end of the movie, the two learn to respect each other and become friends.While the script isn't all that special, the movie is dominated by the performances of Nolte and Murhpy. The chemistry between the two is off the charts, and it's a pleasure watching these two banter back and forth between each other scene after scene.48 Hrs is edgy, quickly paced and refreshingly politically incorrect. But most of all, it's fun. The plot of the movie may have Nolte and Murphy chasing Ganz, the escaped killer (played well by James Remar) and his accomplice, the real show is Nolte and Murphy. They alone are worth the price of admission and make this a must see comedy/thriller.
The boys are back in town
I regard 48 Hrs as an action adventure with a comedic debut performance by the then 21 years old, Eddie Murphy.Hard nosed, hard drinking cop Jack Cates (Nick Nolte) pulls a convicted bank robber Reggie Hammond (Eddie Murphy) from prison on a forged 48 hours pass to help him capture Hammond's old partner, Albert Ganz (James Remar) who killed Cates fellow cop.Ganz himself escaped from prison with the help of native, Billy Bear and both go on a killing rampage as they look for the half a million dollars that went missing after one of their robberies.Reggie knows where the money is but wants to stay one step ahead of Cates. Both distrust each other but need to work together to catch Ganz.Walter Hill made a tough thriller with plenty of violence and cursing but imbued it with the humour of Murphy fresh from Saturday Night Live. Without his presence this would just be a forgotten police action film from the 1980s. He owns that scene when he pretends to be a cop at a country & western dive bar as he shakes down the patron.Murphy elevates the film with the help of some off beat support by Remar and David Patrick Kelly. Nolte plays off well with the street smart, lean and hungry Murphy as the gruff cop who drinks too much and is too flabby.In the sequel, Another 48 Hours, eight years later it was Murphy who would be flabby and out of shape going against a leaner, meaner Nolte.
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