At first glance, Showtime looks like another silly comedy ala Big Momma's House. Well...it is. Granted it is much better than Big Momma, but this is definitely a wait-for-cable. Though very light in the story, dialogue and acting departments, the movie has some very funny moments. The laughs are not enough to carry the film, however.
Eddie is back in FULL EFFECT circa Beverly Hills Cop and he is hysterical. Unlike the family-humor of the Nutty Professor movies, the kind of humor in Showtime showcase Eddie's strengths. He is just downright genius when it comes to purposeful overacting, flamboyance and hilarity. Too bad the story isn't nearly as strong as the Beverly Hills Cops movies. Because of that, Eddie does benefit though. One cannot help but call him the highlight of an otherwise weak film.
DeNiro, on the other hand, must have done this movie out of obligation to someone. Never has such weak dialogue been wasted on such a profound actor. He does take jabs at himself and he performs his character well, but he must have been paid a bundle because I cannot see an actor of his caliber reading HIS lines and saying, "Oh yeah...that's me."
The story is simple. DeNiro is a loose-cannon cop whose big bust is screwed up by rookie traffic cop/part-time actor, Eddie Murphy. Due to the botched job, DeNiro takes his frustrations out by shooting a TV camera. Voila, the TV station/company wants to either sue the police station or profit off his loose cannon attitude with a new reality-based TV show ala Cops. Guess which option the police station chooses? The Chief orders DeNiro to be on the show or lose his job.
In the meantime, the actor-wanna-be cop, Murphy, sets up an fake arrest in front of the TV show's producer, played by Rene Russo (who was HORRIBLE in this movie), to get the role of DeNiro's "partner" on the show. As you can guess, he won the part. The rest of the movie is DeNiro, still pissed at Murphy for botching his big job, and Murphy battling each other and trying to solve the core crime related to his botched job. Murphy spends the movie trying to be a real actor for the show, yet proving to DeNiro that he can be a serious cop.
Of course you will have to see the movie to see if there is a Hollywood ending to wrap it up...Nah, I will just tell you now...it does have a Hollywood ending. You can probably guess before even seeing it.
In any case, as average as the overall movie was, Eddie's performance is hysterical. Plus, I saw it for free, so I wasn't expecting Hamlet. It was worth the afternoon. However, don't go spend cash on it. You will be disappointed. Wait for HBO.