Film Review: Another 48 Hrs. (1990)

in #aaalast year (edited)


Summer of 1990 in American and world’s cinemas was characterised by large number of high budget sequels of many prominent 1980s films. Most of those sequels nobody really wanted. Some made money at the box office, some notoriously flopped and most quickly sank to oblivion, like Another 48 Hrs., action film by Walter Hill and sequel to his 1982 megahit 48 Hrs..

Plot deals with Jack Cates (played by Nick Nolte), San Francisco police detective who has spent last four years trying to find and bring down “Iceman”, mysterious underworld figure that runs most of the drug trade in the city. Cates’ attempt to catch one of his minions end disastrously with a deadly shootout after which Cates gets investigated for possible manslaughter. Desperate to clear his name and save career, Cates asks for help his old partner Reggie Hammond (played by Eddie Murphy), convict who had helped him in previous investigation and who is now getting released from prison. Hammond is, however, displeased with Cates’ refusal to visit him in prison and seems interested for co-operation only after Cates uses Hammond’s stashed money in his possession. Things, however, change when it is revealed that Iceman has hired group of bikers as assassins in order to kill Hammond and thus prevent him from pointing towards his identity. Cates and Hammond are again forced to bridge their difference and work together on the mean streets of San Francisco.

Another 48 Hrs. was developed as an idea of Eddie Murphy, actor and comic who became one of Hollywood’s biggest and most profitable stars in 1980s. Murphy saw return to the role that had made him star as way to continue his dominance in 1990s. Director Walter Hill, one of the greatest names of American action cinemas, wanted to confirm his reputation after series of less than successful film in previous years. Another 48 Hrs. indeed became solid box office hit, but it was still a disappointment because of bloated bugdet and very bad reviews. Most of the complaints deal with generic and repetitive nature of the project. Another 48 Hrs. has the plot that is so much like 48 Hrs. that it could be characterised as remake rather than sequel. Feelings of deja vu among audience will lead to many comparisons at the expense of previous film. The most obvious shortcomings is in the cast, which seems tired; Nick Nolte seems relatively uninterested in the role, while Murphy uses too little opportunities to display his roguish charm. Dialogues are weak, there is very little humour in the film and the supporting characters are poorly written, despite being played by solid character actors like Brion James, Ed O’Ross and Kevin Tighe. The only exception can be found in Iceman’s effete yuppie-like associate played very well by Brent Jennings. Hill makes everything watchable due to quick pace and couple of spectacular and unapologetically violent scenes, including the final showdown. He is also aided by very good cinematography by Matthew F. Leonetti. Although entertaining enough to be recommended to casual viewers, Another 48 Hrs. will disappoint fans of the original and buddy cop film in general.

RATING: 5/10 (++)

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Critic: AA

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