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Brash NYC policeman Officer Gunther Toody is partnered with stiff, by-the-book Officer Francis Muldoon to protect an important mafia witness prior to testifying against orgainzed crime in Brooklyn, all the while dealing with their personal lives, overbearing spouses, common criminals, arms dealers, and their officious boss Captain Anderson. Written by
Officer Toody gets assigned a new partner in technology freak Officer Muldoon. They spend much of the film getting to know each other before being assigned to protect federal witness Hebert Hortz from mobster Don Motti's hitmen. When they lose the witness both Toody and Muldoon must work together to save him.
The story here isn't really important as their isn't really one to speak of. The majority of the film is a whole pile of set pieces where Toody and Muldoon don't get on etc. Then with 30 minutes left they get assigned to protect Hortz, lose him and then have to get him back - it's as if the film suddenly realised that it has to do something while being onscreen. It all relies on the comedy rather than the plot, however there's barely a funny line in it - I half-laughed once when the two hitmen were talking ("I often considered plumbing as a vocation", "nah - I take the kids down to Florida"), and that was it for me, not another laugh in the whole damn thing. Even the scenes that play out over the credits are rubbish - I assume that they thought no one would be left by then.
The main problem with the film is the performances - especially Johansen. It's impossible to enjoy any scene that he's in because of his horrible voice and irritating OTT facial expressions. In this he really does have a face that you want to just keep kicking! McGinley is not as bad but when he's on screen you can't help but feel disappointed - he's had so many good support roles in good films but yet this is his reward. Likewise with Jeremy Piven - not a big star but always does good work in support. Here his gay witness is terrible - witness his rapping with black prisoners to see the depths he has sank. He did a gay character in Rush Hour 2 which was very funny and not totally OTT as it is here. Daniel Baldwin is hampered by a terrible character and at times you can almost see him thinking that he should have put a few more years in on "Homicide: LOTS". Rosie O'Donnell is awful and is almost as annoying as Johansen. One clever bit of casting is Barbara Hamilton as Toody's first partner - clever because of the Munster's connection with the original series, but he's not a great actor (his most recent work being novelty walk-ons in porn). Nipsey Russell really should have known better and should never have agreed to spoil the film's tag line by adding the f-word to it. Gore magicians Penn and Teller just add to the tacky novelty feel of the whole thing.
This should have treated the source material with more respect and it might have been better. However it's a real shambles. No plot, roundly terrible performances and not a laugh in the place. Many of the "jokes" are embarrassing - don't miss the opening scene where Johansen "sings" with a rapping cartoon bird. In fact the rapping thing bothers me because this is full of ethnic stereotypes and constantly uses black culture for comedy effect (like Piven rapping - to general applause!).
Overall it's not the worst thing I've ever seen but it is certainly one big unfunny embarrassment from start to finish.
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