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"NATIONAL SECURITY"
(2003) (Martin Lawrence, Steve Zahn) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Minor Minor Extreme *Mild Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None Mild *None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate None Minor Mild Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy/Action: Two security guards end up unwillingly joining forces to find and bring down some criminal types who are responsible for the death of one's partner.
PLOT:
Hank Rafferty (STEVE ZAHN) is a cop whose partner, Charlie Reed (TIMOTHY BUSFIELD), has just been killed in the line of duty by Nash (ERIC ROBERTS) and his band of warehouse thieves. Hank wants to work the homicide case, but his bosses, Detective Frank McDuff (COLM FEORE) and Lieutenant Washington (BILL DUKE), won't let him.

Meanwhile, Earl Montgomery (MARTIN LAWRENCE) is a cop wannabe whose unorthodox style has just gotten him thrown out of the LAPD academy. The two meet when Hank spots him and believes he's breaking into a car. As Earl angrily tries to explain that the car is his and Hank gets more irritated with him, a large bumblebee enters the picture. Earl freaks out since he's highly allergic and Hank tries to hit it with his baton.

As captured from a distance on videotape, however, the partially obscured shot makes it look like Hank's using police brutality on Earl. As a result and not wanting any increasing protests, McDuff and Washington suspend Hank, resulting in his girlfriend, Denise (ROBINNE LEE), dumping him. It all comes to a head when Hank is convicted of the crime and sent to prison.

Six months later, Hank is released and gets a job as a security guard. Working after hours as his own detective, he stumbles across Nash and his goons in another break-in and sets out to stop them. Since they're robbing the place that Earl, also a security guard, is supposed to be protecting, the two men unwillingly form an unlikely alliance. With the confrontational sparks flying between them, they then set out to find and capture Nash and the others.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of anyone in the cast or action comedies, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For violence, language and some sensuality.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • MARTIN LAWRENCE plays a loud and boisterous police academy reject who works as a security guard and serves to be the constant thorn in Hank's side when they end up being unofficial partners. He uses profanity (some of it briefly strong), shoots various bad guys and blaims everthing on racism.
  • STEVE ZAHN plays a white cop who's fired after he's mistakenly believed to have beaten Earl, who's black. After a 6-month prison stint, he then sets out to find his former partner's killer and ends up unwillingly partnering with Earl who constantly irritates him. He also uses profanity and shoots various bad guys.
  • COLM FEORE plays Hank's boss who fires him and may or may not know about some stolen goods.
  • BILL DUKE plays Hank's superior who doesn't believe his story and instead sides with McDuff in firing him.
  • ERIC ROBERTS plays a criminal who's trying to steal some valuable goods and kills or attempts to kill others.
  • TIMOTHY BUSFIELD plays Hank's good-natured partner who's shot and killed.
  • ROBINNE LEE plays Hank's girlfriend who's dumped him due to the allegations and then incorrect conviction of police brutality.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    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).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this action comedy that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are used. Some sexually related dialogue is present, as is some sexual material and flirting that ends with a woman handcuffed to a bar in just her bra and panties.

    Violence consists of various people being shot and killed or injured in various massive gun battles, but no blood is present. Various instances of punching, hitting and fighting with others are also present, as is property damage. While it's possible that some of that and a few other scenes might be suspenseful or tense to some viewers, most of it's played for action and/or comedy rather than pure suspense. In addition, various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes.

    Meanwhile, some imitative behavior, brief drinking and equally brief crude humor are present. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • People in a bar have drinks.
  • Earl and Hank believe they've discovered beer kegs in the back of a van, but they're for something else. Earl, however, says that the CIA is smuggling alcohol into the inner-city in an effort to further subjugate the black man.
  • Various people drink at a club.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We briefly see a man sitting in a portable toilet with his pants around his ankles (nothing explicit).
  • While posing as a waiter, Earl replies to a man's question about what he's serving by saying he doesn't know what it is, but that it smells like "ass."
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Nash and the rest of the criminal goons all have bad attitudes for trying to pull off various crimes, for killing Charlie and trying to kill Earl and Hank. Nash also twice calls Earl a "monkey."
  • Earl has a bad attitude toward Hank when the latter questions his actions around a car and calls him a Nazi and says, "You're a f*cking pig."
  • Earl lies and/or exaggerates about what happened between him and Hank (and the two don't get along for most of the movie).
  • Earl has a chip on his shoulder about racial issues and always raises the race card about most anything others do or say in regards to him.
  • A cop turns out to be corrupt.
  • Other cops make fun of Hank once he's a security guard.
  • Earl steals a police car so that he and Hank can elude the police.
  • A guy tries to steal a car.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" might also be tense or suspenseful to some viewers, but most are played in an over-the-top action style rather than as true suspense.
  • Hank and Charlie enter a warehouse with their guns drawn. After some gunfire breaks out, Hank tries to get back to Charlie.
  • Earl climbs into a building just as the bad guys show up (and he doesn't realize they're on their way up). This results in another gun battle.
  • Hank tries to save Earl who's hanging from some metal rods sticking out of a concrete slab that's about to fall from a cliff.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Machine guns/Shotgun: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill others. See "Violence" for details.
  • Earl aims his gun at a driving school student and instructor to commandeer their car.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "You're a f*cking pig," "Bullsh*t," "Complex ass, espionage sh*t," "Oh, sh*t," "Don't be a p*ssy," "Poor bastards," "Shut up," "You bitches" (said toward men), "You have the right to shut the hell up," "Big ass," "Get the hell out of here," "I ain't trippin,'" "Kiss my ass," "Hell, yeah," "Go to hell," "What the hell /are you doing here/is that/did I do?" "You little punk," "You're damn right," "Slow ass," "Pissed," "Shut the hell up," "I don't really give a damn," "Be-atch," ("bitch" said in an exaggerated fashion), "Deputy droop-along," "Get the hell away from me," "Get your ass up out of the car," "You big bitch" (Earl to a tall woman), "Do you actually believe the crap that comes out of your mouth?" "Pain in the ass," "Knuckleheads" and "You idiots."
  • Earl yells out to a bad guy, "Didn't your momma teach you some manners when you were humping her?"
  • Since the film makes shooting guns while running and diving, etc. as well as driving cars through walls, fences and glass look cool, it's possible some kids will want to imitate that.
  • Various miscellaneous characters have tattoos.
  • Earl aims his gun at a driving school student and instructor to commandeer their car.
  • Hank tells Earl there's something in Earl's teeth and then punches him there.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A mild amount of such music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None that we heard, but some songs contained lyrics that couldn't be understood, thus offering the possibility of potentially objectionable material.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word, 19 "s" words, 3 slang terms for sex (variations of "hump"), 1 slang term using female genitals ("p*ssy"), 23 hells, 19 asses, 18 damns, 3 craps, 3 S.O.B.s and 3 uses of "G-damn" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • During a court case, Earl is questioned and he sarcastically responds that as far as he knows, there was a chipmunk in the bushes "humping" a turtle and that one should be careful about chipmunks, as they'll "hump" anything.
  • Miscellaneous women show cleavage, as does Denise in several scenes.
  • While working as a security guard, Earl comes across a woman and they play a sexual bit of cops and robbers. She shows cleavage and comes on to him and he says he's going to search her. While patting down her body, he pats her clothed rear several times and asks if that's a thong she's wearing (with his face down there). She then suggestively asks if he's going to strip search her. He says he's going to put on some music and she's going to strip search herself. She starts to dance and then undoes her top (we see her in her bra that shows more cleavage). Later, we see her straddling his lap face to face and asking, "Are you going to give it to me now, officer?" She's then all excited about being cuffed and we later see her with her hands cuffed above her (she's in her bra). Earl then leaves to investigate sounds of shooting and we then return to this woman who yells out, "Damn it, Earl, this ain't turning me on." We later see another shot of her in her bra as well as her panties as she stands there with her hands cuffed around a pipe above her.
  • Earl tells a female trucker to give him her number and that he'll show her what a "big rig" is really like (as he does some brief pelvic thrusting).
  • As a man hugs a metal container (in a nonsexual manner), Earl jokingly states that the man and the container should get a room.
  • Hank takes a reportedly wounded Earl to Denise (a nurse) to care for him. She tells him to drop his pants and Hank then comments on him not wearing any underwear (we don't see anything). She mentions that it's not small (referring to something else), but he takes it to refer to his manhood. After a towel is put around him, Hank tells him to lean over a chair and lift up the towel. Earl then says he's not like that and thought Hank was just trying to get a free "ass shot."
  • Earl yells out to a bad guy, "Didn't your momma teach you some manners when you were humping her?"
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We briefly see Charlie's widow accept the flag from his coffin at his funeral.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Police corruption.
  • Whether white and black people are treated differently by the police and others. In this film, Earl always has a chip on his shoulder about the race issue and often uses the race card when accusing others about what they say and how they act.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A criminal pours liquid nitrogen (or something similar) onto a lock that causes it to freeze and then shatter.
  • Gunfire breaks out in a warehouse between Charlie and some criminals. Hank then races to get to the scene by shooting and then jumping through some glass (landing on a truck). He joins Charlie in firing shots at the criminals who shoot back. One man then shoots and kills Charlie with a shotgun blast (we don't see the impact).
  • Earl fires various shots through wooden cut-outs during a training exercise. He then participates in a car chase exercise where another cop (playing the villain), smacks his car into Earl's. Earl mows down various wooden cut-outs and then blasts his car out through a building and chases after the other cop who's now on foot. Earl opens his car door (while driving) and knocks the cop down. He then chases after the cop on foot, jumps on his back and tackles him to the ground while his still moving car runs into some barrels and explodes.
  • Hank uses his baton to push Earl back against his car. Earl, who's allergic to bees, then spots a large bumblebee and Hank tries to hit it with his baton (first smashing a soda bottle and then Earl's windshield). A person with a video camera then spots what looks like a police beating (with Hank swinging the baton and Earl seemingly trying to defend himself - but both are reacting to the bee and the "contact" between them is blocked by the car). Later, we see more footage that makes it appear (comically) that Hank is stomping down onto Earl (again, blocked by the car).
  • Some prisoners struggle with Hank (who's also now an inmate) and must be separated. Hearing that he'll be sent to solitary confinement if he continues to resist (and seeing that the other prisoners are gunning for him), Hank purposefully elbows a guard. Three months later and upon being released from solitary, he then punches a guard to make sure he serves more time in there.
  • Hank grabs a thug, hits him and knocks him off a catwalk. He then grabs the guy's machine gun and fires it at other thugs. One then holds a gun to Hank's head, but Earl shows up and shoots that man (no blood). A massive gun battle in a warehouse then erupts (handguns and machine guns), with the guards occasionally hitting some of the bad guys (no blood). The bad guys also end up riddling Earl's car with gunfire.
  • Hank holds a gun on Earl who's gotten into his car.
  • Hank and Earl drive their car through highway water barrels, a fence and then over some portable toilets.
  • We hear and partially see a person grab Earl and lift him from the ground. Hank then races up and holds his gun on a tall woman who's holding Earl.
  • Hank and Earl hang onto the swinging back doors of a tractor trailer as it drives down the road. Earl slams into the side and then has a sign slam into him that sends him flying back around and banging into Hank.
  • They eventually get inside and make enough noise to alert Nash and his goons. They open fire with machine guns on the trailer and van inside. Hank and Earl then drive the van through the door and end up falling off a high bridge (but landing softly in a garbage barge). There, Hank opens the door that accidentally hits Earl.
  • Hank briefly struggles with Earl. Moments later, he punches Earl in the face and sends him to the ground. Later, Earl punches him in the face to get even.
  • While driving through a junkyard, Earl runs into several cars while a pursuing police car flips through the air and crashes. Earl then blasts through a fence and escapes.
  • A woman slaps Hank several times on the face.
  • We hear a gun battle and then see Hank as he shoots at a locked door and kicks it open. We then see Earl and the bad guys firing at each other and Hank runs along and shoots through a wall, hitting a guy (while Earl states he was shot in the leg). Earl then hands Hank his machine gun and he opens fire in Nash's direction, but doesn't hit him.
  • Earl holds his jaw as if Denise punched him, but we didn't see the impact.
  • A big gun battle breaks out between Earl, Hank and Washington versus various bad guys (handguns and machine guns). Several bad guys fall (but there's no blood) and this battle continues for several minutes. During that, the good guys blast through various buildings in their vehicle and various explosions take place (including in a tunnel as the good guys try to race through it). More bad guys shoot at the good guys and Hank appears to be hit, with Earl then shooting the bad guy who shot him.
  • Earl and Nash get into a fight where each trips the other and delivers various punches and kicks to the other's body and face. Nash also picks up a huge chunk of concrete and tries to smash Earl with it.
  • A man is bounced off a cliff and lands in the water or on some nearby rocks far below and is killed (the impact is seen from a distance with no blood).
  • Earl opens fire on a car that's been stolen. The thief gets out and the car explodes (no one is hurt).



  • Reviewed January 13, 2003 / Posted January 17, 2003

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