48 Hrs.

48 Hrs. ★★★★½

A humorous, yet gritty racial twist on the traditional buddy cop film with Nick Nolte as Detective Jack Cates busting Reggie out of prison (Eddie Murphy) as his temporary partner hunting down an angry criminal named Ganz. At first Jack treats Reggie like a thug lobbing racist digs at him non-stop.

Bonus points for the angry police Captain Haden (Frank McRae) who does nothing but scream his lines. Nolte's character seems one-dimensional but soon we understand he's more complex than that. And it's awesome to see his transformation over the course of the movie. A young Denise Crosby from Star Trek (Tasha Yar) plays one of the criminal's girlfriends.

Only cons to this movie are the bad guys are fairly cardboard characters. This is common in these type of films but ruins any chances of a perfect rating. Ganz could have any name, really, because he doesn't have much more depth than being a violent thug criminal who will do anybody wrong, including his friends. This one has a bit of a mystery element to it as they try to race against the clock to take down the bad guys (hence the title) before Reggie has to go back to prison.

Not sure this kind of movie could be made in 2019, but this was 1982 when racist humor in a comedy movie wasn't racist. It goes both ways, with Reggie going into a cowboy bar and lobbing redneck jokes around. This is one of the standout roles in Eddie Murphy's career. Seeing him do R rated movies is what he always did best. The interplay between Nolte and Murphy is electric and by the end we want these two working another case together.

There was a sequel in 1990, but never made it into a trilogy, even though Nick Nolte had a promising story idea. Recommended.

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