Combustible Celluloid
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With: Eddie Murphy, Nick Nolte, Brion James, Kevin Tighe, Ed O'Ross, David Anthony Marshall, Andrew Divoff, Bernie Casey, Brent Jennings, Ted Markland, Tisha Campbell, Felice Orlandi, Edward Walsh, Page Leong
Written by: John Fasano, Jeb Stuart, Larry Gross, based on a story by Fred Braughton
Directed by: Walter Hill
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 93
Date: 06/08/1990

Another 48 Hrs. (1990)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Reggie's Return

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Here's a strange case of expectations vs. reality. Eddie Murphy became a huge star with his acting debut in Walter Hill's 48 Hrs. (1982). By the time this sequel was ordered, he was an established star, and certain things were expected in an Eddie Murphy movie. However, the cult director Walter Hill also operated in a certain way, and what actually arrived in theaters was more of a Walter Hill movie than an Eddie Murphy movie, i.e. it was more of an action/crime movie than a comedy full of Murphy's wisecracking. Hence, most people were disappointed and branded Another 48 Hrs. a failure.

Perhaps the most distracting thing about it is the push-pull between Hill and Murphy. There was probably a certain amount of pressure to let Murphy have his way, but at the same time, it seems as if Murphy wanted to do a good job and give a good performance. It's too bad that Hill couldn't have somehow incorporated this conflict into the movie itself, but when he manages to smooth things out, Another 48 Hrs. is still a pretty decent Walter Hill movie.

It begins as Reggie Hammond (Murphy) finishes his sentence and gets out of jail. Cop Jack Cates (Nick Nolte) has Reggie's money stashed, but refuses to give it to him unless Reggie helps Cates nab a legendary drug dealer, "The Iceman." At the same time, Internal Affairs is after Cates due to a mysterious incident in which Cates shot an armed suspect, and the gun subsequently disappeared from the scene.

Perhaps another major problem comes with the inevitable comparisons to the superior original. Hill comes up with as many exciting set pieces as he can, but nothing quite as outrageous as the "redneck bar" scene. Even so, there are some terrific moments, and Hill fans should be pleased, even if Murphy fans are not.

Oddly, as of 2013, this is still Hill's highest grossing movie. It was shot in San Francisco, and one scene was shot just outside of my hometown. Murphy wrote the original story under a pseudonym, "Fred Braughton."

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