I expected this movie to be funny, silly, ridiculous. All of those things that I saw Eddie Murphy do on SNL in his early days, and more. And maybe it was all of those things. But my lasting impression of this movie was very different: Damn, Eddie Murphy is a good actor.
I know, right? What a weird thing to think. This guy is a raunchy, almost perverse comedian. But I found myself believing he was a cop, and a relatively eloquent undercover one at that. I was also impressed that he WASN’T over-the-top; it almost seems like once the 90s hit, Murphy became a caricature of himself. But back in the 80s, he was pure, talent oozing from his little fingers, weird laugh shimmering into the sky. He did have a magnetism back then.
And that’s what I loved about this movie — it showed off his talent in a very subtle way. He wasn’t bouncing off the walls, he was injecting his impressions into little vignettes in the story, but he wasn’t relying on them completely for the comedy. He also got a chance to be serious, and he pulled it off. I guess that’s what happens when you wield a gun on screen.
I didn’t really love this movie, I just loved what it did for Eddie Murphy. He was quick, witty, and unique, and nothing like the genuinely perverted impersonation of himself that he is today. I should watch some of his earlier comedy if it’s anything like this. It’s gotta be better than Dr. Doolittle, anyway.