[Screen It]


(2002) (Robert De Niro, Eddie Murphy) (PG-13)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Moderate Minor Extreme *Mild Extreme
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Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Moderate Minor Minor Mild Extreme

Comedy: A veteran detective tries to find and stop a criminal all while dealing with being forced to appear on a reality TV show that's focusing on him and his new, but inexperienced and camera-friendly partner.
Mitch Preston (ROBERT DE NIRO) in a detective working for the L.A.P.D. who's been on the force for 28 years. Trey Sellars (EDDIE MURPHY) is a police officer with considerably less experience and a hankering to be an actor. When Trey gets into the middle of Mitch busting two criminals -- Rerun (TJ CROSS) and Lazy Boy (MOS DEF) - and lets one of them get away when he mistakes Mitch for a thug, the detective is none too happy and he takes it out on a nearby TV cameraman who's in the way by shooting his camera.

Having seen that display of hostility, TV producer Chase Renzi (RENE RUSSO) comes up with the idea for a new reality show revolving around the life of a cop like Mitch. He obviously has no interest in appearing in such a show, but Capt. Winship (FRANKIE R. FAISON) informs him that the only way they'll get a network lawsuit dropped against them is for him to do so.

Chase realizes that Mitch will need a partner and obviously draws the attention of Trey when she puts out a casting call for such a character. Mitch adamantly refuses to allow Trey to be his partner, but Chase, who likes the thought and sight of antagonistic sparks between the two, makes it happen. With the aid of her assistant Annie (DRENA DE NIRO) and director Williams Shatner (WILLIAM SHATNER), Chase starts production of the show, hoping to make Mitch and his environs more TV friendly.

As he reluctantly goes through such training and dealing with Trey as his camera-friendly partner, Mitch tries to solve a series of crimes involving Cesar Vargas (PEDRO DAMIAN) and the massive artillery he uses during them, all while becoming a celebrity due to the airing of the TV show that's been named Showtime.

If they're fans of Murphy, De Niro or anyone else in the cast, it's a good bet they probably will.
For action violence, language and some drug content.
  • ROBERT DE NIRO plays a gruff, no-nonsense detective who wants nothing to do with the reality TV show but is forced to participate due to his hotheaded nature getting him into trouble. He uses profanity (some of it strong).
  • EDDIE MURPHY plays a cop who wants to be an actor and thus jumps at the chance to appear in Showtime with Mitch. He uses profanity.
  • RENE RUSSO plays a TV producer who comes up with the idea for Showtime and goes out of her way to make sure the program works. She uses some profanity.
  • PEDRO DAMIAN plays a European villain who's using high-powered weapons for various crimes and is responsible for several people's deaths.
  • FRANKIE R. FAISON plays Mitch's captain who informs him that he must appear in the TV show.
  • WILLIAM SHATNER plays himself serving as a director/advisor on the show.
  • DRENA DE NIRO plays Chase's assistant.
  • TJ CROSS and MOS DEF play some criminal types working with Vargas who try to sell cocaine to Mitch and another cop and then open fire on them.


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.

    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).

    Here's a quick summary of the content found in this action comedy that's been rated PG-13. Violence consists of several people being killed by gunfire (of which there's an extreme amount in various scenes) or the related results of such shooting, while others are injured. None of the deaths are directly seen and none of them or the injuries are bloody/gore (only a tiny bit of blood is present). Various instances of fighting (punching, etc.) are also present, as is some property damage.

    The perpetrators of such violent acts and other criminal behavior obviously have bad attitudes, while some of those moments may be suspenseful to some viewers. Profanity consists of at least 1 use of the "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also used. Some brief, sexually related dialogue is present, while several posters show scantily clad or nude women (the latter consists of a sideways view of a woman bending over and showing the side of her bare rear).

    Some brief drinking and smoking are present, while several drug references are made and some characters try to sell cocaine to some undercover cops (none of the drugs are ever used). If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

  • Lazy Boy and Rerun attempt to sell some cocaine to Mitch and his fellow undercover partner.
  • When Mitch says he had marital problems, Chase asks if he drank, but he doesn't answer her.
  • William Shatner shows Trey how to taste-test cocaine (as a cop) by using some fake cocaine.
  • After Chase states that Trey and Mitch need some bonding time, Trey says they could have some beers together.
  • After spotting one of Mitch's sorry looking, homemade mugs, Trey jokingly asks if some "crack head" made it.
  • Various people have drinks.
  • Various people drink in a club.
  • After breaking into a man's house and finding all sorts of weapons, Trey jokes about whatever happened to the good old days when people used to grow pot in their garage.
  • People have drinks in the outtakes seen at the end of the film.
  • After a police chase ends, Trey states that he thinks two drops of pee came out (from the excitement, but we don't see anything).
  • We see a bit of blood on a man's shirt after he's been shot.
  • Vargas, those working for him and various other criminals all have bad attitudes related to their criminal activities and attempts on others' lives.
  • When a news cameraman won't get out of Mitch's way during a chase, Mitch shoots the man's camera from his hand.
  • A man steals Chase's purse, but it turns out to be an accomplice of Trey's helping him trying to impress her to give him the job in the show.
  • We eventually learn a cop is working with Vargas (providing him with weapons and/or ammo for cash).
  • Mitch and Trey break into a man's house without a warrant.
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" may also be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers, but probably only to those with low tolerance levels for such material as most of it's played with comedy in mind.
  • For those who don't like bugs, there's a brief scene in a diner where Chase spots a large insect crawling across the counter where she's eating.
  • Mitch shoots a bad guy in the chest, whose big gun then goes off and riddles the ceiling with large bullets. That eventually causes the swimming pool above it to collapse and send a huge wave of water down into the room that sweeps the bad guy out through the window (and to his presumed death many stories below). That water then begins to wash Trey and Mitch toward the window as well, but they survive.
  • Handguns/Massive machine guns/Knife (that turns out to be rubber)/Shotgun: Worn, carried and/or used to threaten, wound or possibly kill others. See "Violence" for details.
  • Various guns/weapons/artillery: Seen at a gun show.
  • Phrases: "What the f*ck has that got to do with anything?" "Turn that sh*t off," "(That's) Bullsh*t," "I'm too old for this sh*t," "Sh*tty," "Sh*t storm," "Is that hot sh*t or what?" "Sh*tty ass," "D*ckhead," "What the hell /is this/is going on/was that/is that/are you doing here?" "Shut up," "Punk ass," "You're going down, bitch" (said by a man to another man), "Sorry ass," "We've got him by the balls," "Kicking ass and taking names," "We're screwed," "Screwed up," "Scumbag," "You're damn right," "Moron," "Pissed off," "Black ass," "I think you're a joke," "Crappy," "We're screwed," "Get the hell out of here," "That bitch is crazy" (said jokingly about a woman), "Big ass" and "Balls" (testicles).
  • The use of weapons as seen in the film could be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • A man is seen with various tattoos on his body.
  • As Trey shows various mime moves to Mitch, he mouths the phrase "F*ck you" to him.
  • None.
  • A moderate amount of suspenseful and action-oriented music plays in the film.
  • A song has the repeated lyric, "Baby, shake that thing."
  • At least 1 "f" word (with another one visibly mouthed and another one used with "mother" being bleeped out during the outtakes at the end of the movie), 47 "s" words, 3 slang terms using male genitals ("d*ck"), 17 asses, 17 hells, 5 damns, 2 craps, 2 S.O.B.s, 6 uses of "G-damn," 3 uses each of "Jesus," "Oh God" and "Oh my God," 2 of "God" and 1 use of "My God" as exclamations.
  • After stating that Mitch is a classic "bad boy," Chase states, "Hell, I'd let him frisk me."
  • After Mitch complains that it's probably some Hollywood "d*ckhead" producing the show, the Captain points out Chase and comments that she doesn't have a "d*ck."
  • While confronting an apparent criminal, Trey states that he has two things on him bigger than his mouth, and one of them is pointing at him (his gun).
  • Chase may mention something about the cops being able to talk about their sex lives in a confessional-type booth she's created for him (we couldn't hear the exact dialogue due to audience noise).
  • Some miscellaneous women show cleavage.
  • As Mitch reads off the titles of some movies Trey has appeared in, Trey responds to one saying that it was kind of light porn and that he doesn't want to talk about it.
  • After Mitch returns home to find that Chase and Annie have completely redone his apartment, he comments that it looks like a gay porno star lives there.
  • In a man's house, we repeatedly see a poster of a woman who's bent over and sideways to the camera, and we thus see the side of her bare butt. Another poster shows a standing woman turned away from the camera wearing a small bikini bottom.
  • Vargas (cigar) and Lazy Boy each smoke once.
  • We hear that Mitch and Chase are divorced (not from each other, but other people), but nothing more is made of that.
  • How Hollywood movies about cops are usually extremely unrealistic.
  • Reality TV and how much of it is real vs. being staged, faked or otherwise creatively manipulated in some fashion.
  • Rerun pulls a gun on Mitch and his fellow undercover partner and after seeing that they're live on the news, begins shooting at them. Mitch then shoots and apparently wounds Rerun, but Lazy Boy then opens fire on Mitch and the other cop with a massive gun/canon that blasts apart the room, destroying many TVs there in the process. While fleeing, Lazy Boy then opens fire on Trey with the same weapon. As Mitch then comes running out, Trey aims his gun at him (not knowing he's a cop), but once he turns to look and wave at a news chopper, Mitch pushes him against a fence that he cuffs him to.
  • Lazy Boy then fires his weapon at a news truck, tearing it up.
  • When a news cameraman won't get out of Mitch's way during a chase, Mitch shoots the man's camera from his hand.
  • After a man steals Chase's purse, Trey suddenly shows up and pursues the man, grabbing him from a fence and the two fall to the ground. He then throws a hubcap that hits the fleeing man on the head and knocks him down. Trey aims his gun at this man who then kicks it away and pulls a knife that he uses to jab at Trey several times. Trey then punches this man several times and flips him over (but it all turns out to be a setup on Trey and the other man's part, complete with a rubber knife).
  • We briefly see a TV re-creation (on TV) of a diver inside a large shark's mouth (he eventually gets out and there's no blood or gore).
  • Vargas and other men open fire on a house that Lazy Boy and a woman are inside (with Lazy Boy firing a shotgun back at them). Riddled with a great deal of large caliber gunfire, the house eventually collapses and the two people are killed (but we don't see their deaths or bodies).
  • In a staged, action introduction to the cop show, there's an explosion in a car that runs over a homeless man's cart.
  • A cameraman accidentally trips over a fire hydrant and lands on the street, but doesn't appear hurt.
  • Vargas fires his large gun into a van in motion, causing the latter to explode (but it seems to be for practice, although we don't know if anyone was inside).
  • Mitch menacingly grabs Vargas by his shirt in a nightclub. After a moment, he then punches Vargas and others (throwing one person through a glass window), while Trey punches others (and repeatedly does so to one man).
  • Vargas' men open fire on an armored truck with their massive guns, riddling it with large holes. As the police arrive, the men open fire on their cars, also ridding them with large holes and causing two of them to explode (with one crashing into other cars and the second flipping over, but we don't know about the officers inside them).
  • Other police then shoot at those men who shoot back with those massive guns, with Trey shooting out one of the tires on Vargas' car.
  • A large vehicle smashes through other cars.
  • As Mitch pursues the villains' trash truck and car, he shoots at the latter, blowing out the back window. A man then shoots at Mitch's car with one of those massive guns, hitting Mitch's windshield and part of the police lights on top. During the chase, the truck smashes into a car, while the dish on top of a TV truck is clotheslined and broken off the top and dragged behind it. The TV truck eventually takes a corner too fast and tips over, landing on some parked cars.
  • The trash truck impales Mitch's car with its lifts and begins to lift it up, with men shooting at Mitch who shoots back (hitting one man in the arm, and wounding or killing another with a shot in the chest). Mitch then repeatedly kicks the windshield of his car, trying to break it out so that he can escape. Just as Mitch jumps to safety, the trash truck (with the cop car attached to the front of it) crashes into some pipes and explodes.
  • After finding a hidden TV camera in a small woodpecker sculpture, Mitch smashes the latter to destroy the former.
  • Vargas uses his big gun to shoot the large TV and information display hanging from the ceiling in a large convention center/arena (it eventually falls and lands on a bad cop, presumably killing him). Vargas then shoots at Mitch and Trey and takes Chase hostage.
  • He then shoots a door open to gain access to a room in a high-rise.
  • Mitch shoots a bad guy in the chest, whose big gun then goes off and riddles the ceiling with large bullets. That eventually causes the swimming pool above it to collapse and send a huge wave of water down into the room that sweeps the bad guy out through the window (and to his presumed death many stories below). That water then begins to wash Trey and Mitch toward the window as well, but they survive.
  • Some punching is seen in some outtakes at the end of the film.

  • Reviewed March 12, 2002 / Posted March 15, 2002

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