Another Stakeout (1993)
User ReviewsAdd a Review
- Emilio Estevez saying the funniest line from a rather dry sequel
"Another Stakeout" was six years in the waiting. After the first film, "Stakeout," made a huge splash at the box office in 1987 (the same year another cop-buddy film came out--can you guess which one?), everyone anticipated an unnecessary--but perhaps funny--sequel that would inevitably result after box office earnings were tallied up by film executives in an office somewhere.
Alas, the six years passed, and we got...this mess?
Richard Dreyfuss and Emilio Estevez reprise their roles as stakeout cops who get paired with a new partner in this watered-down sequel. The new partner is played by Rosie O'Donnell, who is so startlingly unfunny in this it almost makes you involuntarily switch off the television as soon as you see her chubby face smiling at you.
The story starts with a bang--literally--as a trial witness being protected by the CIA is unsuccessfully assassinated--and by that I mean: They die, she lives. What a surprise. (This is the type of scene where the villain is able to blow up a house but the witness just happens to be taking a stroll outside as it happens--or something like that--preventing her from dying along with the other agents who were previously protecting her. This type of thing was spoofed greatly in the truly underrated "Last Action Hero." It's not a joke in "Another Stakeout.") Unfortunately for the United States, the trial witness never returns--she runs away and doesn't let anyone know where she is. Afraid she may be in danger, afraid to lose a star witness, and believing that she might try to contact old friends, the gruff chief of police assigns the unlucky trio of Dreyfuss, Estevez and Donnell to watch the her old pals to see if she turns up.
She eventually does, of course, but first we get some painfully unfunny buddy-buddy moments between Dreyfuss and Estevez and O'Donnell. She brings a bunch of clothing and a dog with her. They don't like it. Har-har. This was used a bit better in "Spaceballs," in which Princess Vespa brought along that entire luggage through the desert (remember?). This is just a copy of that scene, minus the punch line.
Estevez also shaves his mustache, which is supposed to be a type of sacred moment and is referenced at least ten times throughout the film (he goes to stroke his mustache, he complains about chopping it off, Dreyfuss complains about it, etc.). But for heaven's sake, he's only been in one film so far--we've only seen the mustache once--so a better thing to do would have been this: make a few more sequels and, when the last entry comes, have him shave it off. By then the audience realizes that his mustache is part of him, and that losing it is like losing part of his soul.
But I'm glad they didn't make any more than one sequel.
One of the things that kept the "Lethal Weapon" franchise going was the fresh ideas, fresh buddies, and fresh scripts. (Great actors never hurt an action comedy, either.) The "Stakeout" franchise--which didn't even last long enough to spawn more than one sequel--tries to copy this formula but isn't sure how. The introduction of Joe Pesci in "Lethal Weapon 2" was great because he thereby became the Third Stooge, whereas O'Donnell's entry into the series is nothing but a humiliating reminder that talk show hosts can't always act in front of a camera and maintain the same type of humor they may (or may not) exhibit on their (awful) TV "talk show." (Which is, by the way, consumed of entirely staged so-called "interviews.")
And whereas Pesci, as Leo Getz, added a type of silly vibe to the "LW" series, O'Donnell just seems like a carbon copy clone of Estevez from the first "Stakeout." Dreyfuss didn't like him at first, and--guess what--they suddenly became best buds. The same thing happens in the sequel, much to the audience's chagrin.
Of course, "Lethal Weapon" and its sequels were never more than a few years apart (the first coming out in 1989, two years after the original). But "Stakeout" had six years to make a respectable sequel, and it fails. It fails the same way that many prolonged sequels do. But, for once, it's not because the audience has forgotten the original film--it's because the audience is fed up with the same routine.
The film was directed by John Badham, which is surprising, since he's a talented director ("Saturday Night Fever," "The Hard Way," "Stakeout"). Here he jumps through all the hoops, turning his own series into a pale retread of the original--only watered down: minus the violence, language, nudity, and humor. I'm not saying a movie has to be R to be funny. But if you've got a sequel to an R-rated movie like "Stakeout" and you decide to turn its sequel into a cutesy-tutesy children's entertainment program, you'd better advise the audience before they sit down expecting something funny and fresh.
What a disappointment.
- John Ulmer
The story here is pretty unimportant, but we will review it briefly. Bad guys are trying to silence an important witness played by Cathy Moriarty. Their plans to kill her fail but she disappears during the attempt. Cops Richard Dreyfus and Emilio Estevez are assigned to find the witness and stop the bad guys. They are joined by Assistand District Attorney Rosie O'Donnell. They take off to the mountains and rent a house in order to spy on Dennis Farina and Marcia Strassman in order to stop the bad guys. That is just about the entire story here. But the thin storyline is simply a premise for Dreyfus and O'Donnell to show off their comedic skills. And they come through in a big way. Everything in the film is built around humor, even the action scenes. For example, an early action sequence involving the chase for a murder suspect ends in tragedy. The suspect is killed by a witness with Dreyfus' gun. During this dramatic moment, Dreyfus looks down at his holster to see that his gun has been replaced by a dead fish. This is not a serious movie. It's a fun one.
In the first movie, Badham's taut direction and thrilling action sequences took center stage. This time, the director let's Dreyfus and O'Donnell, along with some stunning cinematography, guide the film. The result is a non-complicated and fun movie that everyone can enjoy.
And with the exception of the one time I had a stroke while watching Another Stakeout and wasn't discovered for two days while I stared at a paused image of Dreyfuss and Estevez, I have enjoyed all 428 times I have seen this movie.
This film isn't just funny, action packed and filled with characters we can relate to, it's a world we find ourselves wishing we could live in rather than the dark and nasty one we currently reside in. And though we quote the movie and dress up as characters from it every Halloween the sad truth is that the world doesn't work like Another Stakeout. When you watch someone through a window of their home you don't end up falling in love and there isn't a buddy next to you to crack wise with. The police show up and people yell and cry...
Ordinarily I say "to each his own" when it comes to opinions about movies, but if you don't like AS 2 then you're not worth a cup of feces with a cigarette butt in it.
Simple. It is a great film. Not only has it obviously influenced many contemporary films, but it also trumps these films on a variety of levels. Allow me to elaborate
Prior to Another Stakeout, John Badham made a handful a good films (Wargames, Short Circuit). Shortly thereafter he helmed an unfortunate number of Hollywood films (American Flyers, Point of No Return) that may be considered guilty pleasures at best. He was also called upon by fellow director Peter Jackson to head up the second unit on all three Lord of the Rings films but declined. So what is the point of this little history lesson? Hollywood kills good directors (John Woo and Sam Raimi, prime examples).
But, I digress. Despite the a lackluster couple of decades, John Badham does have a grand if only marginally well known legacy in Another Stakeout. Science fiction and horror fans will recognize and appreciate the premise; Detective Chris Lecce (Richard Dreyfuss) wakes up one day, goes through the motions like any and every other day, and slowly realizes that he is, inexplicably, on another stakeout. The scenario plays out basically as is expected but it is the manner of the presentation and plotting that make it remarkable.
The film ultimately has only three characters, whose dynamic, touches on Alfred Hitchcock and Shakespeare without any pretense. Chris' subtle and deliberate decline into the reality of his new position in the world leads to him swinging from disbelief to depression to mania to megalomania to acceptance and back to disbelief. The storytelling and character interaction allow for empathy without distraction and the science fiction elements are beautifully woven into the fabric of the drama so that the one doesn't overshadow the other.
There are several mysteries involved in the story that are revealed with wonderful precision by the director through a series of well placed flashbacks and the subtlety of mood and movement, but you'll have to find the film and watch it to understand the full glory.
This is not a flashy film. It is however a master stroke. It is unfortunate that this film has all but vanished into obscurity, along with its director but they both still exist and there's always a second wind. Always.
Basically this movie is just great entertainment. Like all those type of movies from that period there isn't much to the story and the movie is all about its characters and actors playing them. Compare it to the 'Lethal Weapon' movies, minus all of the action.
This movie does have some fine characters and actors portraying them. Even better is the chemistry they all have. Richard Dreyfuss form Emilio Estevez a great 'buddy' cop duo and Rosie O'Donnell is also a fine addition to the two, basically since she is such a fine comedy actress. It also sort of makes you wonder why Richard Dreyfuss hasn't appeared in more comedy roles. He obviously has the talent and certainly the right timing for it. Guess he better wants to be remembered as a 'serious' actor and who can really blame him for that. The movie further more features Dennis Farina, Miguel Ferrer and Madeleine Stowe.
The movie is filled with some great comedy moments. that mostly, again, work out due to the characters and actors of the movie. The movie has some guaranteed laughs and make this a perfect typical 'no worries' movie. Just sit back and enjoy watching it!
It also shows that John Badham is actually a fine genre director! The timing is great and the pace, editing and positioning all make sure that the comedy in the movie works out even better.
It's too bad that the story just mostly distracts from the movie and its humor. It's just not anything solid, interesting or something that hasn't been done before. But then again, this is all quite typical for the genre and time period it was made in. Basically if you enjoyed one or more of the 'Lethal Weapons' movies, you'll surely enjoy this movie as well.
Guess the movie could had impressed some more by putting in some more and bigger action. The movie now feels quite simple and cheaply made at times, which at times becomes distracting but overall doesn't take away any of the fun of the movie.
Stakeout (1987) U.S BOX OFFICE $65,000,000
This movie just scraped over the $20,000,000 mark and you can see why.
If there's nothing else on TV - I do recommend a watch but don't be surprised if you looking at the OFF switch after the first 30 Minutes
My Rating 7/10
While not quite The Fugitive, it has the same sense of story, suspicion and climax. Yes, the explosion is a bit over-the-top (viewed several times from different angles) but the bad guy is really bad, and the good guys really hilarious. Rosie O'Donnell gives, imho, a FABULOUS performance, and the dog is such a perfect touch! My favorite scene? "No, Archie...not the bunny Archie..." and then her warbled scream...perfection. I think those who said nasty things just don't appreciate some other aspect of her life, as it's certainly not her acting ability.
The cops are wonderful, and the lines so funny you'd swear most of it is ad-lib.
Take my advice if you're in the mood for something dramatic, but funny...this is it. When we get together during those rare times now when our entire family is together, it's the one film we can count on that everyone will like, and we've all seen it at least thirty times.
Not for kids under about 13 without adult supervision, in my opinion.
Richard Dreyfuss & Emilio Estevez play DET.Chris Leece & DET.Bill Reimers respectively and are joined by 'comic-relief' Assistant D.A Gina Garrett played by the universally annoying Rosie O'Donnell along with her Rottweiller pet dog as all three are staking out a lakeside home on a remote Island, where a Mafia trial witness is supposed to be going to, so as cover they pretend to be Husband,Wife & son with 'hilarious' results.... The comedy is absolutely dire and does jar with the occasional bouts of violence.
co-starring Dennis Farina & Miguel Ferrer
all in all not a great film by any means but worth watching if you've nothing better to do
*** out of *****
Spoilers beneath this line.
The movie starts out with a giant explosion, that lasts around one minute. It is exaggerated to the point where it is actually just funny, which I believe is intentional... why else would they use a septic tank truck to blow the house up? Afterwards, an important witness protected by the police is missing from the crime scene (her body doesn't turn up). It is then up to our two friends from Stakeout 1 (Estevez & Dreyfuss) to have a stakeout at a house next to some friends of the missing witness, in case she is hiding there. But they have to have an annoying female partner with them, who does anything to irritate and destroy their mission, although well meaning. As the movie plays out, the only thing that annoys me is that they have removed Richard Dreyfuss' mustache - it really fits with his character from Stakeout 1. They did however remove Emilio Estevez' mustache without it actually making the big difference - he still looked like a kid with it.
If you enjoyed the jokes from Stakeout, and also like comedies of the late 80s and early 90s, then Another Stakeout is just up your alley.
The first film was light, silly, unlikely but quite enjoyable and this one continues in a similar vein albeit less successfully. The main failing is that the plot is the same as the first one and hence feels less fresh. On top of that we have cliché on top of cliché to add to the stale feel. The film is so desperate to repeat the first one that we even get Stowe roped back in on the side. The jokes are pretty tired and the action is quite tame overall the end result is not terrible but mediocre.
Dreyfuss and Estevez had good fun in the first film but here they look like they're collecting the cheque. They are still OK but you can see they're going through the motions a bit. O'Donnell should be sentenced to daytime TV forever how can one person be so very brash and annoying? She sucks any lightness out of this film and is really irritating. Farina is good as is Moriarty (but it's a long cry from Raging Bull isn't it?), Ferrer turns in yet another bad guy role and is always value.
Overall this is barely entertaining. It doesn't feel fresh and this cheapens it the fact that the comedy is weak and that O'Donnell is like a curse from Hell makes it even worse. Stick with the first film it's not a masterpiece but at least it's got energy.
Richard Dreyfus is always a solid actor, but his work here really deserved an Oscar.
Emelio Estevez might be best known for being Charlie Sheen's sane brother, but check out this movie and you'll be a life long Estevez fan, like I am.
Of course, it goes without saying that this is the movie that made Rosie O'Donnell. Before this film, she was just a bit player. A stand-up comedienne. But this is where she made her mark. Even Donald Trump would agree that she's genius in this near-masterpiece of a movie.
An academy award winner like Richard Dreyfuss (Goodbye Girl), and a superb actor Emilio Estevez (The Breakfast Club & Judgment Night), and Rosie O'Donnell (who knows, who cares), trying to be funny, didn't work.
However for the two male greats, this movie was so below them, why did they do it? Yes, it's probably hard to really know what a movie will be like before doing it, but once was enough with this movie. It was just another flopped squeal. Smart Actors like Richard Dreyfuss, and Emilio Estevez should have known better.
Now they have to live with this one on their resumes'. Oh well glad it's not mine.
Don't waste your time, get out Close Encounters, or Judgment Night, if you are looking for real entertainment.
What you do know you're going to get however is a performance by one of the most under-rated double-acts in cinema history. Dreyfuss & Estevez deliver solid gold comedy throughout with impeccable timing, (it really is faultless!). There are so many one-liners and brilliant comedy scenes in this film not only provided by the dynamic duo, but casting Dennis Farina was also a master-stroke.
I love the way that Badham in both films, manages to inter-weave the comedy with what looks from the outset to be a serious action drama.
As comedy-lovers we have to look past the weaker parts of the film and concentrate on the fact that the comedy aspect of this film is brilliant if not slightly under-used!
Chris and Bill are back, joined by then-closeted Rosie O'Donnell and her big dog. A mob witness may or may not visit old friends for protection on the beautiful Pacific-Northwestern Bainbridge Island. Our heroes are in the house opposite and their sit-and-wait chore is all the more difficult by their new third-wheel partner. The chemistry between Dreyfuss and Estevez is still perfect, and you really get the sense that these guys work together very well. Shame they don't have a lot to do.
The only big fault with Another Stakeout is that all of the action happens at the very beginning and very end, leaving a massive chunk in the middle for bumbling and low-brow amusement. It works, but it feels very underwhelming when compared to the original. For a belated, throw-away sequel it has a surprising amount of continuity with the first film, normally you don't get that. Stylistically however, this is completely different. Where Stakeout was dark, gritty, and rugged Another Stakeout is glossy with high-key anamorphic Panavision photography. Since the rating was lowered I guess it made sense to change the look of the film.
Another Stakeout languishes in a weird gray area. It's more than above average, but never really achieves any kind of greatness, and for that reason I have to rate it lower than the first.
Touchstone licensed the rights for the film to Mill Creek for release on Blu Ray and it's a big step-up from the DVD in terms of AV quality, this time presenting it in the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio in lovely 1080p. The end credits claim the film was merely in 'Dolby Stereo in Selected Theatres' and the DTS HD-MA 2.0 soundtrack works just fine. There are no extras whatsoever, and the production design of the Blu Ray and the package is really quite poor. But what do you expect for a budget title? At least it doesn't come in a horrible eco-case.
They think the missing woman is going to contact a couple - Dennis Farina and Marcia Strassman (as Brian and Pam O'Hara) - so Mr. Dreyfuss and Mr. Estevez are recruited to pose as neighbors...
Madeline Stowe (as Maria), from the first film, appears only sporadically and her chemistry with Dreyfuss is gone. The crime and criminals being investigated are confusing. To make the ruse more realistic, assistant district attorney Rosie O'Donnell (as Gina Garrett) is added to the mix. Accompanied by her rottweiler "Archie", Ms. O'Donnell pretends to be Dreyfuss' second wife and Estevez' step-mother. It's a funny situation, providing this sequel with a little freshness. Otherwise, the story is stale.
***** Another Stakeout (7/23/93) John Badham ~ Richard Dreyfuss, Emilio Estevez, Rosie O'Donnell, Dennis Farina