Yet another buddy cop makes it to the big screen, and survives in thanks only to Steve Zahn, who continues to make some otherwise dull movies entertaining. National Security, which also stars Martin Lawrence, takes the genre to a different level - that of security guards - as the two stars try to find the man responsible for killing Zahn's partner. As grim as the plot is, the two get in plenty of circumstances that are either fairly funny or incredibly stupid. The result is a mixed bag.
Zahn, who was great in Joy Ride and who has given some juice to some fairly bland movies (Stealing Silverman), is moderately entertaining here, as a cop who becomes a security guard after he is released from prison for allegedly beating up a black man (Lawrence). In fact, he was just trying to swat a bee, but that doesn't deter the judge from throwing him in the slammer for six months. When he gets out, he resumes his search for the man who killed his partner, and ends up teaming up with another security guard, who just happens to the same man he apparently beat up. The two form an unlikely alliance that really makes little sense, and action, comedy and cheesiness ensue from there.
[Author's Note: I have finally come to the conclusion that Martin Lawrence is annoying. In reality, the only movie I have ever really enjoyed him in was Bad Boys, and frankly, Will Smith stole the show. His other movies, though relatively successful, have been so-so at best. Looking at National Security and the way he whines and screams the entire time, I do not understand how I put up with him for so long. Oh, and I watched one of his standup comedy routines, and he wasn't funny there, either.]
National Security has its moments, both in the comedy and action department. Zahn with his little mustache is hilarious to look at. When he opens his mouth, he pulls off some good jokes. Lawrence had one or two funny moments, but his racist remarks get old quickly (Samuel L. Jackson in Die Hard with a Vengeance is a good example of how to make a racist black man funny and interesting). It also has a lot of cheesy moments, especially towards the end of the film. The last thirty minutes make very little sense.
It would be wrong to say that National Security wasn't an entertaining movie, because it was. However, to say that it was anything better than mediocre would be a fallacy.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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