Genre: Action Comedy Running Time: 1 hr. 33 min.
Release Date: June 8th, 1990 MPAA Rating: R
Director: Walter Hill Actors: Nick Nolte, Eddie Murphy, Brion James, Kevin Tighe, Ed O’Ross, Andrew Divoff, Bernie Casey, Brent Jennings, Tisha Campbell, Page Leong
n the middle of the desert, two anarchical Western Brotherhood bikers meet a third to collect a sum of money for a hit on Reggie Hammond (Eddie Murphy), a former member of their gang who ratted on an associate to policeman Jack Cates (Nick Nolte). In San Francisco, Cates has been working diligently to catch a drug dealer called the “Iceman,” who is linked to Hammond’s looming assassination, and now needs the just-released convict to help him not only locate the mastermind but also decrease the seriousness of manslaughter charges against him – caused by hastily wasting a hired killer. For persuasion, Cates threatens to withhold the $500,000 he’s been safeguarding for Hammond upon his discharge.
When Richard “Cherry” Ganz (Andrew Divoff), the brother of a man killed by Cates, guns down Jack in a diner and then ambushes the Department of Corrections bus that is transporting Hammond, the wisecracking former thief has just about enough motivation to stick with the rough-around-the-edges, broken-down cop. Both battered heroes survive, but bodies continue to pile up and enemies always seem to be one step ahead of law enforcement. As additional henchman and ex-marine Malcolm Price (Ted Markland) closes in for the kill, Ganz plots to secure his revenge, Hammond’s prison protection connections stir up trouble, and Cates’ courtroom proceedings go south – all while the Iceman’s identity still remains discouragingly shrouded.
“This time, I promise you, it’s going to be different,” insists Cates as he tries to convince Hammond to rejoin his mission. Right off the bat, innocent people are killed, incidental explosions erupt, criminals are set ablaze, and Internal Affairs makes an appearance to realistically put pressure on Cates’ loose-cannon law enforcement methods. As a sequel, “Another 48 Hrs.” tries to top the original in action, adventure, and mayhem, but in many ways it comes dangerously close to just being a remake. Clearly duplicated scenes serve as both homages and reiterations of successful moments from the previous picture.
The reason for bringing the odd-couple, buddy-cop combo back together again isn’t particularly clever, though their chemistry is almost as amusing as it was before. As with the predecessor, the villains are incredibly severe, which tends to work against the lighter mood created by Murphy and Nolte’s rampant, humorous bickering. And while massive firepower, the improper flexing of police muscle, corruption, numerous hostage situations, and a boisterously rowdy finale (where bullets have the bizarre capability of catapulting their targets backwards as if they were rocket launchers, and everything made of glass must be shattered) all have their place, the modest level of entertainment could have been pumped up with a slightly more sensible storyline.
– Mike Massie