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Martin Lawrence and Steve Zahn star in this funny comedy as two ill-fated
security guards who team up to bring down a dangerous criminal organisation
and a crooked cop. It may not be an excellent film, but it is a
lighthearted, fairly fresh take on the classic "buddy cop" formula that's
been used over and over again (Shanghai Noon, I Spy, etc...) This time, most
of the laughs come from Lawrence, who does a good job of being the
wise-assed, smart-mouthed partner as Steve Zahn does his stuff as the
impatient lead character.
The plot of the film seems a bit rushed, and not developped to its extent, but that's no matter. What DOES matter are the laughs; and though "National Security" isn't the funniest film in the world, the comedy is sharp --- although, at times, it does seem a bit recycled. Come on, we've seen this sort of stuff WAY too many times before...
The point is, "National Security" provides some laughs and is an all-around good film, though not great. For those of you lookin' for a familiar, smile-inducing cop film, you can't go wrong with "National Security". I'm a bit put off, though --- a 4.3 rating for this flick is just way too low, and I don't think the film deserves the bad reviews it's been getting. The same thing seems to have happened to "I Spy" as well...
Come on, you guys need to lighten up. Of course these films aren't Shakespeare --- and they don't want to be! Sooner or later, you'll learn that a movie doesn't have to be perfect in order for it to be an enjoyable experience. Most movies don't aim to be Oscar-material, so they opt to bring to the general public the things we want from this sort of film: comedy, action, wise-cracks, and, if at all possible, a decent plot. We can't compare movies like these to, say, "Star Wars" or "Casablanca" or "Titanic", because they're in totally different leagues. I try to review each film while considering the different intentions of the producers. If a film is a clear Oscar contender, I may be a bit more harsh in my review --- but with most comedies and action pics, I give credit where credit is due.
And that's the moral of this story: GIVE CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE! "National Security" is a decent flick and is well worth the price of admission, at least in the eyes of this reviewer.
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.
This is probably his best or one of his best in a long....long time. This is much better than Blue Streak and Lawrence plays the act well. His partner in the biz, Steve Zahn plays the angry white man great. This is a hilarious film and everyone couldn't stop laughing in the sold-out theater I was watching it from. I went with a couple of friends and we were laughing and repeating quotes all the way home. One quote that sent the crowd roaring was when Lawrence is talking to Nash (Julia Robert's Brother Eric) when they are out of the van with the certain items (watch the movie to find out).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I enjoyed this little comedy much more than I expected; my main reason
for seeing it was Roberts. Anyway, the film works in an unpretentious
way. It amused meme and the person that I was watching the comedy
withas a film that found its tone and channel. It is very fastpaced,
and quite likable. It's very physical, goodnatured and enjoyable; as a
matter of fact, it is a humorous crime drama, a humorous cop film
(about corrupt cops, etc.).
There are some very noticeable beautiful girls ("Lola" and Zahn's exgirlfriend).Mari Morrow and Robinne Lee.
Needless to say that my original reason for watching itRobertshas a role so small that they could use anybody else. But maybe Roberts was cheaper than anybody else?
Some perceived this flick as ...racist.I see it as politically incorrect,in a cheap but funny way--which is good.
I thought the movie started off very good with a serious tone of
intrigue and suspense. That's what attracted me to watch it while
Although it's the first film I've seen with Steve Zahn, I thought he was genuine in his portrayal of emotion over the death of his fellow officer. His loyalty and respect for his friend and partner showed in every aspect of his acting.
Enter Martin Lawrence . . . then it became too silly.
As for, Bill Duke and Eric Roberts, they're always great in my opinion. Seasoned and mature actors.
I just can't take Martin Lawrence seriously. He's a funny comedian, but this type of silly slapstick takes away from the suspense of the film. The whole "bee" story, police academy farce, as well as the girl with the handcuffs, along with a few more so-called "funny" scenes, should have been re-written to better fit the plot. It's cute for situation comedy, but not for a movie that starts on such a serious tone. It's misleading and kills the suspense.
The movie would have been much better without it.
The movie's plot line is pretty funny and the action and comedy are good - not laugh out loud good but more like humorous :) I do think that you can watch it more than once. Steve Zahn and martin Lawrence do portray a good but unstable team in the film but thats all part of the humour. Personally I love most action comedies due to the fact that they are uplifting... Honestly though, this is a great comedy and the acting does seem cheap but in a way it does fit in with the whole comedy genre so there are'nt any major problems. Anyway, thanks for reading my review and if you watch the movie.. enjoy it and grab a bowl of popcorn!
I loved this movie, some people take offence to it some people don't, i just see it as harmless fun, and it pokes fun at the racism of today. Martin Lawrence was great, very funny, but if your not the sort of person who can have a laugh and have a silly side then you'll find him a put off, truthfully people need to lighten up. Steve Zahn was also great playing your typical 'cop' moustache and all, he has some great moments and Lawrence and him build a great on screen team during the film. I pity all the people who say Lawrence is racist, I don't take offence and at the end of the day he is an actor acting, and a good funny one at that. So if you want to have a fun night, laugh at stupidness and enjoy a film then check this out, you'll only hate it if your a stiff. 8/10.
Earl Montgomery is a cop wannabe who can't get past the academy into the
force. Hank Rafferty is a real cop who is emotionally on edge having seen
the murder of his partner by a gang raiding a warehouse. When the two get
involved in a minor roadside traffic stop, Earl claims Hank beat him and
gets him thrown off the force. Hank takes up a job as a security guard and
sets out to find the gang that killed his partner. He finds them in a
warehouse protected by Earl (also now a security guard) and the two
reluctantly team up to go after the gang. However when they steal the
gang's merchandise they find themselves hunted by both the gang and the
Although I like to think of myself as having reasonably good taste I do find Martin Lawrence funny. I don't know why but many of his films just make me laugh even though I feel like I shouldn't ! However this film is the recent exception to that. I saw the trailer and thought that it might be worth a stab wrong! The plot is a shambles of coincidence and plot holes where there is a doubt they simply have a big gun fight. There is no real tension to the plot as it is so very loose even at the end you'll struggle to know much about the plot outside of the two central characters.
The action scenes make the A-Team look realistic and tense they are simply tonnes of bullets flying everywhere before the bad guys are dispatched with one shot! This sucks any excitement or tension out of them and only leaves you with lots of noise that just feels pointless in the extreme. In that way they reflect the wider plot I guess. Sadly though, the poor action and poor plot is by no means the worst part of this film.
Easily the worst part of this film is the fact that 99% of the `jokes' are based on race in particular Martin Lawrence's comments which are either a) laments on the victimisation of his race or b) reverse-racism remarks that border on the offensive and would certainly never be allowed to pass if the lines had been given to his white co-star. The victimisation things are simply not funny and merely make the lead look like he has an enormous chip on his shoulder about his colour maybe 2 or 3 remarks along these lines would have worked but to have nearly every line based on this is simply overkill and it quickly gets tiresome. Other remarks I simply found offensive I'm sorry, I know this is meant to be a comedy but I found them bigoted in the extreme. What makes it worse is the fact that the film plays Earl as a hero and never shows him to change his way or his opinion hence it validates what he says. For example to have a character state that he is against interracial relationships between white men and black women (and never take it back) is simply offensive as I (a white man) sat with my wife of Nigerian-descent I felt very uncomfortable that anyone would allow such insulting dialogue to be part of a film. Even if you think I am making a big deal out of nothing just imagine this whole film if even half of Earl's dialogue had been said by Hank there would simply have been an outcry!
To make the offensive material worse it is rarely funny. I don't know what Lawrence is up to. This summer he has the chance to kick start his big league career again in Bad Boys 2 where he'll get help from Smith and Union but this is a huge leap back pandering to an audience that may find it funny because they too have a chip on their shoulder about race. I usually find his mugging and saying `yo ass' or `and sh*t' after every sentence funny but here the chip on his character should simply obliterates everything else. Zahn is poor I have not seen him in a strong role but this must be a step backwards even by his standards he suffers at the hands of racist remarks and comes off badly even his relationship with Denise is played for laughs as the writers expected the audience to find it a joke that Hank could land with a `fine sista' like that, it even goes so far as to have Denise admire Earl's penis!! In fairness Robinne Lee (Denise) is gorgeous and it is good to see her in something again after only seeing her in Hav Plenty. God knows why Eric Roberts is in it he has nothing to do and his wig just looked stupid, likewise Bill Duke is only there for the dirty looks.
Overall I enjoy Lawrence comedies even though many are silly. Here the jokes are nearly all based on race or reverse-racism and after the first 3 time they get increasingly unfunny and tired. At best this film is lame and barely amusing, at worst it is simply bigoted (regardless of what colour the character is bigotry is bigotry) and will be offensive to anyone who tries to get past the issues of race and racism in their daily lives.
Sure many people that didn't like this are vocal about it, but for me I
like Steve Zahn and Lawrence proved himself in Blue Streak. I like the
wit of director Dennis Dugan, ever since I saw him in "can't Buy Me
Love" back in 1987. I haven't forgotten the personality he has.
Although he didn't direct that one, but he has done plenty of other
great pictures's. So with that I will explain, as the screw-ups that
these two partners are, they try to be cool and make it happened while
being inattentive boobs, they get demoted, and dropped done to a
sub-level in their careers, the place that they don't want to be, so
now they're a little scared about being trapped in one place. Plus
there is a bigger event that is pushing them to act in a more serious
and calculated manner. These two have to get to some
seriousness...amongst all the craziness.
Zahn, has a really good flavor for this part and he does have a talented ability that he brings to many other roles, I like his style. If he bulked up, which might not be too healthy, but never the less he might be another Chris Farley!! Martin Lawrence is just great at bringing the crazy-civilized guy to the part. He seems to have that go back and forth ability that allows him to be either way and seemingly always a little of both. I enjoyed this even if others complained about it. For me I can recommend it to others, mostly I will say, get this on an edited film purchasing site, so that you don't have to worry about the kids, if you have any, seeing and hearing stuff that ain't appropriate. I liked the soundtrack as well, for an urban sort of feeling. I would still get the edited version for me anyway.
At any rate I recommend, although nutty and a little corny, it's still up there on the fun scale. (**)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
National Security is about two guys, a ex police officer (Zahn)
convicted of beating up a black guy, and the same black guy
(Lawrence)who is dying to become a cop, are forced to work together as
security officers to find the killer of the ex cop's partner.
Seems like a good plot right? Wrong.
The film starts out as any average action film of the 2000s, boring intro to the characters who are acting on patrol, they come across suspicious activity, than they chase the suspects than bang, partner gets killed by shotgun wound and other partner goes through a very flat dramatic grief. Partner wants revenge so he goes out to find who killed his partner. Comes across police academy failure who locked his keys in the car and let the widow slightly open, which looks like suspicious activity to cop. Cop pulls over asks the black man what he is doing, black man, angry at white cop, scorns him, cop gets angry and decides to detain scornful black guy. A bee, yes,a BUMBLE bee comes along and the cop gets scared of it and tries to whack it with his knight stick. Black man allergic to the bee starts panicking and yells for help. a family videotaping a family moment are near by and record what looks like to be a white cop beating a black man. Tape becomes widespread, black community up in arms, cop is fired and taken to court with a all black jury, judge, and prosecutors. Gets sentenced to six months in prison. stays in solitary to avoid being shanked by the black inmates. Gets out, becomes security guard and partners with, you've guessed it, the black man accusing him of the beating. They hate each other than next ting they're best friends and save the day! Black guy gets no punishment for lying about the beating.
When they were writing this, did the producers think they were making a lethal weapon or rush hour film? I hope not because this was downright embarrassing. and not to mention the elements of race they threw in with the boot. even though I'm not white myself, I did feel angry at the"beating" scenes. What angered me the most was Lawrence character got away with it. Its as if they were mocking all white people (nd black people too) that a white cop cant politely ask a black man who is doing something suspicious any questions because that would be racial profiling and the cop could get sued for beating the guy. I literally wanted to jump in the screen and call everyone in the film a race baiting sissy. This wasn't an action film, just a mockery of racial tensions disguised as one. It was as if every black character in the movie was some obnoxious self righteous asshole which really does not do any good for that minority in a still racially intensified period in our history. Aside from bad boys, I never liked Lawrence because of his obnoxious behavior and insensitive mood swings that are supposed to be taken as funny. I felt so lad to see Steve zahn punch that moron. speaking f which, Zahn as actually the only one who pulled off his character as the angry guy, but then again I guess that was really him because he must have not liked being the mocked white guy who didn't do anything wrong. but had to be because no one will put him in any real films. The rest of the acting was average but the plot sucks and was predictable.
It makes me feel superb to know this film plain out failed at the box office, and deserved it. Of Lawrence, this couldn't get nay lower for him, but Zahn deserves better than this.
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