[Screen It]


(1997) (Eddie Murphy, Michael Rapaport) (R)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Mild Heavy Moderate Heavy Extreme
Mild Mild Moderate None Extreme
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Moderate Minor None Minor Extreme

Action/Adventure: A hostage negotiator tracks down a jewelry thief who killed his buddy.
Scott Roper (EDDIE MURPHY) is San Francisco's top hostage negotiator and is the best at successfully resolving crisis situations. After a jewelry thief, Michael Korda (MICHAEL WINCOTT) kills a cop friend of his, Roper makes it his mission to find this man. It doesn't take long before Roper goes head to head with Korda during a robbery turned hostage situation. He and rookie SWAT team sharpshooter Kevin McCall (MICHAEL RAPAPORT) intervene and begin a series of tense encounters with the dangerous lunatic. Along the way, Roper's ex- girlfriend, "Ronnie" Tate (CARMEN EJOGO), and Korda's dim-witted cousin, Clarence, get involved as the encounters become decidedly more deadly.
If they're fans of Murphy or of the action/adventure genre, they will.
For strong violence and language.
  • EDDIE MURPHY plays a wisecracking hostage negotiator who swears like a sailor but gets the job done. He does, however, break some rules to track down the killer.
  • MICHAEL RAPAPORT plays the rookie cop who's an ace sharpshooter.
  • MICHAEL WINCOTT plays the crazed jewel thief/killer who will do anything to collect his booty.


    OUR TAKE: 7 out of 10
    Eddie Murphy is back with a funny cop movie that will remind you of his glory days in the original "48 Hours" and "Beverly Hills Cop" movies. While not quite as funny as those, this is still a humorous and enjoyable diversion that finds Murphy now being the "old" veteran who's teamed up with a younger sidekick. The biggest surprise of the movie is how much "fun" the suspense scenes are as they approach those normally found in horror films. But they're taken to new heights as director Thomas Carter playfully manipulates the audience by turning the stereotypical "there's somebody in the house" scenes on their head. While many of the action scenes are thrilling and wild, others are redundant (another car chase through and over San Francisco's hilly roads) or outrageously stupid (a full speed cable car descent down what has to be a four or five mile long hill makes you wonder why you never saw that mountain on your last trip there). Still, this is an action movie and evidently we're supposed to accept such ludicrous stagings (including how that run away cable car is finally stopped), and that is rather easy to do in this film. Of course we're nitpicking here, but wouldn't it be nice if someone would make a "smart" action film? As far as the performances, Murphy has modified his big grinned, smart aleck character into a more serious version of his previous self, but he seems more natural and relaxed than in most of his recent films. With the success of "The Nutty Professor" and what is sure to be a big hit with this movie, Eddie might just return to his status of box office king. If you can accept the typical action movie problems, you'll probably enjoy this production. We did, and we give it a 7 out of 10.
    While this is an enjoyable film, it bears a strong resemblance to Eddie's early action movies in that it's full of violence and profanity. With over one hundred "f" words and the typical action film blood and carnage, you might want to keep the younger kids away from this one. Many people are shot and killed, one man has his throat slit, and a cut off ear is seen. Sex/Nudity is pretty much limited to a brief shot of two topless sunbathers and thong wearing women on a beach. In addition to the violence, the film is surprisingly suspenseful so those who hate "scary movie" scenes should be forewarned. If you don't mind all of the "objectionable" material, and if your kids are mature and old enough, this might not be a bad action/adventure film for them to see. Still, that decision's up to you and we suggest that you read the scene listings for each category to determine if this movie is appropriate for you and/or your family.

  • Roper visits Ronnie and has been drinking (after a cop buddy's murder). He tells her that he's been visiting "Jack Daniels," but that he's not drunk yet. He did drive his truck, though, in this condition.
  • Roper and Ronnie twice have wine with dinner.
  • Roper, Ronnie and others have tropical drinks on the beach.
  • A guard who's been shot in the chest is rather bloody.
  • A suspect is shot in the arm and blood shoots out, splattering him and others.
  • A cop who's stabbed with a knife and has his throat slit is rather bloody.
  • A cut off, bloody ear is seen.
  • A dead man (who Korda shot) is bloody and has a small bullet wound in his head.
  • Clarence has a bloody nose after fighting with Ronnie.
  • McCall's leg is bloody after having been shot.
  • Obviously Korda, Clarence, and the other bad guys have both.
  • Korda tells Clarence (who's mentally slow), "It's not your fault you're stupid."
  • Korda once refers to Roper as a "nigger."
  • Roper gets an evidence cop to let him have stolen jewelry to exchange for Ronnie's safety.
  • There are several hostage scenes where Roper must talk down a suspect who has already injured or killed people or is holding guns to their heads.
  • There are several scenes where Roper searches (through a building, a parking garage) for Korda who may jump out at any moment.
  • Several action chase scenes may be viewed by some as suspenseful.
  • Ronnie is alone in her apartment and we know that Clarence has been sent to "take care" of her and we wait for him to jump out at her.
  • The end of the movie is suspenseful as Ronnie's life hangs in the balance as Roper must deal with saving her while trying to stop Korda.
  • Handguns/Rifles: Used to threaten, injure or kill people. See "Violence" for details.
  • Knife: Used to threaten and kill people. See "Violence" for details.
  • Phrases: "Bitch," "Hag ass bitch," "Shut up," "Bastard," "Screw you," "Balls," "Nigger," and "Go take a leak."
  • Roper apparently drove his truck to Ronnie's home while somewhat drunk.
  • There are three jump scenes, one involving a man who's suddenly attacked, and the other two with dogs that suddenly surprise people.
  • There's a moderate amount of suspenseful music throughout the film.
  • None.
  • At least 101 "f" words (5 with the prefix "mother"), 47 "s" words, 11 "ass" words, 4 hells, 2 damns, 1 S.O.B., 1 crap, and 3 uses of "God damn," 2 of "For Christ's sakes," and 1 use each of "Jesus" and "Oh God" as exclamations.
  • There is a photograph on Ronnie's wall where a topless woman is seen with only a man's hands covering her breasts.
  • Ronnie talks about how one time Roper made "passionate" love to her.
  • Roper and Ronnie passionately kiss, and although nothing else is seen, it's somewhat implied that they sleep together.
  • Ronnie is seen in her bra through a rainy window.
  • Roper tells Ronnie that he wants to take her to Tahiti where they will "run around naked" and he then gets her to repeat that. When they finally get there, she wants to see him do that, but he says he'll only be naked back in the hotel room.
  • Topless women (bare breasts) and others wearing thong bathing suits (bare butts) are momentarily seen on a tropical beach.
  • Roper is seen with a cigar in his mouth.
  • Korda smokes a cigarette.
  • None.
  • Hostage situations.
  • In a hostage situation, a suspect has already shot a guard and holds his gun to another hostage's head. Roper ends up shooting the man in the arm.
  • A cop is repeatedly stabbed with a knife and then has his throat slit.
  • Korda slams Clarence around a room, smashing him into furniture and walls after he believes that Clarence inadvertently led the police to him.
  • Roper and McCall watch a surveillance tape where Roper's former partner is shot and killed during a hostage crisis where the suspect is then shot and killed by snipers.
  • Korda hands Roper a cut off ear to show his serious and deadly intent. We then see that Korda has already killed several people whose bodies lie on the floor. When an older woman tries to leave, Korda hits her on the head with his gun. Later, as Korda and the hostages go out onto the street, one of the hostages is mistakenly shot dead.
  • Many cars are damaged during a car chase that turns into an out of control cable car chase where more cars are damaged or destroyed.
  • Korda throws a passenger from a cable car and then shoots the conductor twice. He shoots at Roper and McCall as they follow in their car and then at Roper who jumps onto the cable car. Roper and Korda then get into a fistfight.
  • Korda tries to run over Roper, who in turn shoots his gun at him. After subduing him, Roper kicks Korda really hard.
  • Clarence attacks Ronnie in her apartment, knocking her around the room. He repeatedly tries to stab her, but she fights him off by kicking and hitting him on the head with a lamp. He then begins to choke her, but is scared away by Roper shooting at the door to get in.
  • Roper fights with Clarence and holds his knife above him. Roper kicks him off and Clarence is hit by an oncoming taxi.
  • Korda abducts Ronnie and has her tied to a metal cutter. He threatens to have her shredded if Roper doesn't give him his stolen jewelry. Later, McCall shoots and hits Korda as he's driving away and his car crashes and explodes. He gets out and shoots McCall in the leg. Later, he drives Roper's truck that explodes after running into some barrels of fuel.

  • Reviewed January 13, 1997

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