He was once the master of drama, but now Robert De Niro seems to be content with doing comedies that typically make fun of him. It is time for a new agent, Mr. De Niro, although you could have done a lot worse than Showtime. Analyze This and Meet the Parents have been big hits - and both are getting sequels - but it is time to return to the days of Casino and The Godfather II, the glory days. Those were where you really shined, and where you didn't have to resort to making a mockery of yourself.
There's nothing really wrong with Showtime, except that it is yet another movie where De Niro does not stray too far from his typical persona: he is a straight-laced, serious cop that is funny only because he seems so much out of place. It's getting old. And, when acting in a comedy with Eddie Murphy, De Niro does not dominate the screen; Murphy does. Both actors are funny, but Eddie Murphy is a little better, a little more enjoyable.
Unfortunately, Showtime isn't that funny. It has its moments, but it can't quite decide whether it wants to be a comedy or an action movie. Luckily, the film works as both, but only somewhat; I, actually, would have preferred to see a more serious cut of this film. The plot revolves about some weapon dealers that are willing to kill to hide their secret new design, a machine gun of sorts that can destroy just about anything. If it doesn't sound funny, then you are thinking correctly; the plot is fairly serious, which I guess is a good thing, but since the plot is better than the comedy, that causes a problem.
Showtime is worth a one-time watch, but it is neither hilarious or action-packed. The few action scenes are surprisingly well done, but the movie could have used some better dialogue to keep the audience laughing.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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