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For the past four years, San Francisco cop Jack Cates has been after an unidentified drug kingpin who calls himself the "Ice Man". At the Hunter's Point Raceway, Jack confronts Tyrone Burroughs and Arthur Brock. Jack kills Brock in self defense, but Burroughs escapes, and Jack is in danger of going to prison because Brock's gun can't be found. Jack finds a picture that proves that the Ice Man has put a price on the head of Reggie Hammond, who is scheduled to be released from prison on the next day. Jack tries to convince Reggie to help him clear his name and find the Ice Man, but Reggie says he won't help unless Jack gives Reggie the $500,000 that Jack has been holding on to for Reggie. Jack refuses to give Reggie the money unless Reggie helps him. After the bus that is transporting Reggie away from the prison is forced to crash by two bikers and Jack gets shot by the same two bikers, Jack forces Reggie to help him by having the hospital release Reggie into his custody. Reggie ... Written by
Shows its age due to time but Another 48 Hrs. is still an entertaining and action packed yarn that will quench any buddy thirst you might have.
Another 48 Hrs. feels like a missed opportunity; it feels as if the makers have recognised the potential of the idea and have done half a job. This is because it never really elevates itself above the material it actually is. At a time when the Lethal Weapon films had proved there was a demand for white cop with black sidekick buddy combination type films, Another 48 Hrs. is perhaps a cash in sequel to a film that was never anything special any way. Where as it sounds like I'm being negative, the film was enjoyable for what it was and that said; I would have a hard time in deciding which one I liked more.
A scene from this film which typically sums up the genre the film is working under highlights not only the genres inability to ever be anything above a certain level but also the problem films face when they age. The film is a crime film; a buddy combination of two people getting involved in shoot outs and general criminal activity whilst battling each others egos. In 1994 when Pulp Fiction came out, films like Another 48 Hrs. were history and a particular scene is defining evidence: shortly after a prison bus has rolled over a few times, two hells angels are going to kill someone on board. But what happens is instead of riding up to the overturned bus and finishing the job, they park their bikes a few hundred yards away, get off very slowly and walk up to the bus with the intent to kill. Now, there is absolutely no reason for them to do this apart from add suspense to the scene and perhaps have two bikers walk in tandem; in slow motion amongst the heat wave in a 'cool' fashion. This is the point; films such as these rely on what would look good cinematically rather than stick to what their characters would do.
I know it's wrong to compare a film to another film made after it but this highlights not only the bad way in which Another 48 Hrs. has aged but further cements what a great film Pulp Fiction really is; the buddy combination in that film of Jules and Vincent who are by no coincidence black and white but Tarantino plays with realism in the film and the scene in which someone is accidentally shot in the back of the car is so much more clear in the sense it is two fingers up to scenes like the one just mentioned in Another 48 Hrs. The film starts off with Reggie (Murphy) still in prison and shows up its other half of the buddy combination as a bit of an idiot. Another 48 Hrs. suffers from its cliché that its best cop on the force, Jack (Nolte), is actually a loose cannon whom needs to be removed even though the job is actually perfect for him; an idea toyed with in the third Die Hard film but with John McLane. Jack seems certain that an antagonist known as The Iceman is at large but is demeaned and shown up as perhaps a bit of a schizophrenic; one officer labelling this Iceman as an imaginary friend/enemy who Jack has been pretending to chase.
Unfortunately, the initial incident in the film happens a little early by way of a shooting at a race track. What I couldn't understand is that with all those people watching the race, nobody saw the bad guy shoot at Jack and consequently; the police have their eye on him. Reggie on the other hand is out of jail and he miraculously survives an attack on a bus (mentioned earlier) as it rolls over several times; something that would have killed him. But the film suffers from it lack of logic that can be applied to certain situations: The bus rolls over; the bikers aren't professional enough; the back up arrives a too quickly and are unable to spot the bikers fleeing; the bikers in other scenes get their guns out in full public view too many times but nobody ever seems to mind and generally, there is an acute sense of frustration during these times. But the film backs itself up with a scene in a nightclub during which it makes a pastiche out of its predecessor by putting Jack in a punch up only for Reggie to save him by acting out his cop/no nonsense routine by threatening to shoot first and the ask questions later. Along with this, Jack even makes reference to 'typical bar punch ups that you get in the movies' where he states someone always hits else someone over the head with a chair or a glass bottle. Jack then does exactly that with a bottle and the chair soon follows.
But to me, this is Another 48 Hrs. recognising that is knows what it is; that it knows the formula its using and is having fun playing around with the clichés; even if scenes such as the bus rolling and the bikers not doing what they should do by finishing the job. The film is by no means great or groundbreaking but I was never bored or put off by what I was seeing; it may have lacked realism and been since pushed down a peg in the crime genre hierarchy by bigger and better films but it remains entertaining to a degree with gunshots powerful enough to propel people through windows and cops smart enough to wear bullet proof vests whilst off duty. Another 48 Hrs. is by no means a big winner but it is by no means a massive loser, even if it may indeed look like that in another twenty years.
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