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John C. McGinley
Dr. RJ Stevens is a talk show host who visits his family in the deep south. While there he reunites with his brother Otis, his sister Betty, his cousin/rival Clyde and his childhood love intrest Lucinda Allen.
Malcolm D. Lee
James Earl Jones
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Earl and Hank have only one thing in common: they're both L.A.P.D. rejects. One just got kicked out, the other can't even get in. After confronting each other on opposite sides of the law during a traffic stop that escalates out of control, these two luckless individuals end up partnered as lowly security guards. Despite being damned to the lowest rung of the law enforcement ladder, Earl and Hank uncover a sophisticated smuggling operation led by Nash and his band of thugs. When Earl and Hank get their hands on some hot property, they go on the run from, first the bad guys, then the L.A.P.D.--led by Lt. Washington and Detective McDuff. What these two unlikely partners do to law enforcement is a crime, but they just might save the day. That is, if they don't kill each other first. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
I usually don't like Martin Lawrence and I find his anti-white humor to be quite offensive as well as his string of bad movies. But compared to his other movie of 2003 (that would be the shockingly awful Bad Boys II), National Security is a rather easy-going and light-hearted cop comedy flick with quite a few good laughs. A lot of them, surprisingly, coming from Lawrence himself.
Hank Rafferty (Steve Zahn)is a cop who is unfairly thrown in jail for apparently beating a black suspect (Lawrence) who just got kicked out of Police Academy. With his career in tatters he emerges from the slammer with only one job opportunity available; a lowly guard for a lowly security company. Determined to follow up on the big case he was involved with before serving time, he crosses the path of fellow security guard Earl Montgomery (Lawrence again) and the two reignite their old conflict.
The old love/hate buddy thing may be old and the plot may be silly but it's a great excuse for loads of action set-pieces and humor. The potentially dangerous comedy of black vs white never becomes offensive and is handled with such lightness that it never becomes an issue. Both men have their failings and bonuses and are as equal as each other. You really do feel a great partnership between them despite their arguing and fights.
Give National Security a try. It's slick and fast-moving and is a helluva lot better than Bad Boys II. You'll probably be surprised at how funny Martin Lawrence is. I was.
The DVD is in great looking 1.85:1 widescreen with pretty good Dolby 5.1 sound. The scenes where Lawrence uses his automatic pistol really pack a heavy punch in the .1 LFE channel. The usual deleted scenes and commentary are included on the DVD but I was surprised the extended ending wasn't included in the film. It would have been better with it.
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