When police discover that a mob hitman has moved in next door to the Robbersons, they want to find out what he is up to. So they set up a stakeout in the Robbersons' home. Hard-nosed, tough-as-nails Jake Stone is assigned to the stakeout. But now it's a question of whether Jake can last long enough to capture the bad guys. The Robbersons want to help so they are driving him crazy.Written by
Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>
During the end credits, a picture of Jake (Jack Palance) doing a one-armed push-up with one of the Robberson's kids was flashed. This was a reference to what Palance did after he accepted his Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, for "City Slickers (1991)." See more »
Norman took a lunch to work then he went to the diner for a bagel for lunch. See more »
Chevy Chase's family comedy "Cops and Robbersons" might have been made during the period where his box-office success was in a rapid decline (as this was somewhat a flop and the previous two before it), but I've always have a soft spot for this professional looking, but farcical comedy outing and that was mainly for the amusingly dry performance of Jack Palance as a weathered detective.
Norman Robberson is a mild-mannered accountant who spends his free time watching TV cop shows. Soon enough he's living that life, when detective Jack Stone and his partner use his house as a stakeout to watch his neighbour that's a dangerous counterfeiter. Stone then finds himself caught up with the family and Norman's cop show obsession could just endanger the whole operation.
As much as I enjoy watching a Chevy Chase film, it does pale in comparison to his early work but watching it again it surprised me how well it actually stood up. While not overly funny, it kept me watching. Teaming up again with Michael Ritchie the director of his smash 1985 hit "Fletch", Ritchie and Chase might not have the luxury of that smart script, but "Cops and Robbersons" is still sprightly written with the odd witty remark and amusing depictions of middle class suburbia. It's a typical formula, but it raises some inspired shenanigans if growing a little repetitive with its choices. Thinking about it, there was probably just not enough humour there or effectively brought across. It's madcap, accidental gags relying more so on the psychical and visuals with comical interactions between the dysfunctional characters. Ritchie's direction is straight-up, competently tidy with a slick streamline to it and having confidence in his timing.
The cast balances out quite nicely. Chase gives his usual quick-on-the-feet performance, while alongside him Palance superbly grits his teeth. Dianne West is equally good with a level-head turn and Robert Davi suitably goes with a mock serious approach in a pigeon hold villain role. There's decent support by David Barry Gray, Jason James Richter, Fay Masterson, Miko Hughes and Richard Romanus.
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