Showtime


Directed by: Tom Dey
Written by:Keith Sharon, Alfred Gough, Miles Millar
Starring: Robert DeNiro, Eddie Murphy, Rene Russo, William Shatner
Released: March 28, 2002
Grade: C-

It’s Die Hard meets The Truman Show.  The only thing missing is originality, laugher, action, acting, jokes, style, interest, and yes, a screenplay.  In today’s paper, there’s an ad for the film and like most, it has a catchy quote - “lots of laughs along with some heart-stopping action” from Jeanne Wolf.  I have never heard of Jeanne Wolf so I had to do some research just to find out how any respected film critic could say something about a film so undeniably bad.  Well it appears she does exist but that’s about the only thing she’s got going for her at this stage.

Showtime is all wrong.  The film “tries” to poke fun at reality based TV shows but doesn’t realise that it’s following all the Hollywood movie stereotypes in the process.  DeNiro and Murphy are

Mitch Preston and Trey Sellars.  Mitch is a straight shooting detective with a well regarded reputation.  Television cameras happened to catch his latest drug bust and Mitch is now a media sensation.  He’s not very forthcoming however and he shoots a camera during the incident when it gets in his way.

Chase Renzi (Russo) works for a television network and sees Mitch as her window to pitch a new reality based TV program.  Cameras will follow him 24 hours a day and the highlights will be shown Friday nights at 8pm.  Mitch is naturally unforthcoming but when the police station is threatened with a $10,000,000 lawsuit over the “shooting the camera” incident, his boss gives him no choice but to participate.

Looking for a wacky sidekick, Chase finds Trey - a police officer / actor.  He’s dying to be on television and gives a dazzling audition.  Further encouragement is the fact he’ll get to work with Mitch Preston and he sees his experience as a way of learning how to pass the detective exam (which he’s failed twice before).  Naturally, the two don’t hit it off but they soon come together when hot on the trail of a head drug lord.

I chuckled once during the entire ordeal.  Murphy is usually funny in every film he makes but this is a rare exception.  DeNiro has no talent as a comedic actor and despite what anyone else says about Analyse This and Meet The Parents, he just doesn’t have it.  Rene Russo is the supporting actress in this mess and does absolutely nothing.  I think the highlight of the film was seeing William Shatner slide across a car hood and land on his ass.

Nothing really make sense either.  Stuff happens and I don’t know why it happens.  The drug villain, Vargas, manages to destroy a suburban house with some sort of super gun.  How?  Mitch and Trey approach Vargas in his nightclub for no apparent reason but to act tough.  Why?  How do the studio cameras always immaculately capture the action despite being hidden in stupid locations (such as shirt buttons)?  How does Mitch hide a gun in a video camera and still manage to fire it?  And let’s not forget the age old question - how can a villain shoot a gun 100 times and still miss hitting the good guy?

Stunningly horrendous, this could well be the worst commercial release of the year.  During the credits, they show out takes from the film and even they weren’t funny.  There isn’t a single compliment that can be uttered which is lucky because I’ve been left speechless by its dreadfulness.  Forget Showtime, it’s boretime!