Hi guys, good to be back, and thanks to everyone at Moviegasm for allowing me to spend time talking about the kind of quality crap movies I always end up watching on the weekend instead of cleaning my apartment.
I know it sounds strange now, but before the Oscar nomination, before he was the proud owner of the largest collection of fat suits in North America (narrowly edging out Tyra Banks), even before he began running his late night shuttle service for transvestite hookers, Eddie Murphy was cool. What can I say? It didn’t take much to entertain people in the 1980′s (Hence the Joe Piscepo craze). So come back with me to a simpler time, when all you needed for 96 minutes of quality crap entertainment was a guy whose catch phrase was “I’m Buckwheat,” several loony tuned eyed bad guys, a guy who you can literally smell the scotch working its way through his pores, and a truck load of racial epitaphs. Yep, today our movie is the 1982 release, 48 Hrs.
Our movie starts with horses running free in the California countryside, as convicts shovel gravel on a train track for no apparent purpose…. Look, this movie took a little while to get going so lets cut to the chase. Did you ever see Predator? Remember the big Indian guy with the crazy eyes? Well, he helps this white guy with even crazier eyes escape from a chain gang and then they go to San Francisco, kill an Asian guy on a bench and then head to a hotel to get some hookers. Man don’t you hate when people do the typical touristy things?
Meanwhile a boozy police detective, Nick Nolte, is having a big fight with his girl friend, and oh, the girl friend is Annette O’Toole. Fun fact, Annette O’Toole was one of the top five Hollywood actresses who helped me get through puberty. Ok, maybe that was more of a creepy fact then a fun fact, but hate me, not Annette, ok?
Anyway Nick and Annette’s relationship is struggling and for the life of me I don’t know why. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Nick is rocking a body shape in this movie where he looks like he swallowed a beer truck, and his voice sounds just like John Daly’s breath would sound. You know if really bad booze breath had a voice. Was I reaching a little too much on that joke? Sorry, it will probably happen again.
Anyway Nick fills up his hip flask, straps on a big ass magnum, and hops in his bombed out caddy and heads out to make San Francisco a safer place. How California did not slide into the sea in 1982 is still a complete mystery to me.
Nick wanders around town until he finds two other cops who are going to bust someone for using a stolen credit card. Nick wants to help out, but seeing as he looks like he’s got a blood alcohol level of about “why aren’t you dead?” the other cops aren’t to keen let him join in their reindeer games. However they do decide to let Nick hang out in the lobby, because what’s the worse that could happen?
Well apparently the two guys with crazy eyes being upstairs, and shooting both of the non-staring role cops is the worst that could happen. Oh wait did I say that? Because Nick Nolte gets the drop on the bad guy with crazy eyes. No, not the crazy eyed Indian from Predator, the other guy with crazy eyes. This guy is wearing a mesh wife beater, but in 1983 we called it a tank top because we didn’t know any better.
So things are looking pretty good because Nicky has caught the bad guy. Hmmm we could be looking at a 10 minute movie here today. I might actually not be able to blow off cleaning my bathroom until tomorrow. No, because one the cops who got shot upstairs comes down into the lobby and the bad guys get the drop on him. Crazy Eyed Guy In The Wife Beater gets Nick Nolte to give him his gun and then shoots the other cop. He shoots at Nicky, misses, and then escapes with crazy eyed buddy.
Crazy Eyed Guy In Wife Beater
Crazy Eyed Guy From Predator
What’s that? How, given that in this movie if Nick Nolte had stood in front of the sun he could have caused a complete solar eclipse in Mongolia, was CEGIWB (Crazy Eyed Guy In Wife Beater) able to miss Nick Nolte? I think will just have to chalk that up to Hollywood magic and leave it at that. Seriously dude, drop it. If you want physics in action, watch NOVA.
After the big shoot out Nick heads back to the station house to get a new gun, a bunch of clues to keep the movie going, and an IV hookup to a bottle of Jack Daniels. We also meet the one guy you couldn’t make a crappy 80′s action movie without, the screaming black police lieutenant. A large black man in a cheap brown suit comes out and screams incoherently at Nick, raging about having Nick’s badge or ass, or possibly his ass and his badge, but he still ends up topping off Nick’s flask, wiping his nose and sending him back out on to the streets. It is little realistic scenes like this that make this movie work on so many levels.
If You Can understand a word this guy is saying then you’re a better man then I am Gunga Din
Anyway, thanks to an extra wandering up and handing Nick a piece of paper with the important clue, the movie is able to keep going. Nick heads out to the local prison to talk to a convict who used to be in the same gang as CEGIWB, the guy from Predator, and the dead Asian guy on the bench (you see how everything in the movie ties together?)
Nick gets out to the prison and it turns out the convict is Eddie Murphy. In the movie Eddie is a hot shot thief in jail for a robbery, and if you have a hard time buying that may I remind you that it was 1982 and Eddie was also Gumby god damn it!
The face of cool in 1982 It was a simpler time kids, what can I tell you?
Eddie says he can help Nick Nolte but he has to get out of jail to do it. Now in real life there is no way a guy serving time would ever be sent out on the streets, but this isn’t real life; I mean when was the last time you saw a pop corn stand in real life? Well besides at the movies?
Anyway Nick and Eddie hit the streets to solve the case. Well really it’s more like 20 minutes of Nick mumbling racial slurs and Eddie sexually harassing everything up to and including a fire hydrant. This was a hit movie in 1982. Do you kids out there see what your entertainment choices are like when you only have 20 cable channels? You don’t know how lucky you have it, and get the hell off my lawn!
Finally Eddie and Nick talk through their differences and become the best of chums. Just Kidding! They whack the hell out each other in an alley, because there’s no quicker way to male friendship then mutual blunt force trauma to the cranium.
Male bonding in action
The fight is a draw and considering Nick weighs as much as the average Arby’s and Eddie at this point on his life weighs slightly more then your average postage stamp, we can just chalk this plot point up to a little more blunt force trauma to my common sense by the screenwriter.
Whatever, because by the end of the fight Eddie and Nick are well on their way to BFFville. Eddie lets Nick know that CEGIWB broke out of jail so he could steal half a million dollars from Eddie that he, Eddie, the dead Asian guy on the bench and a little squirrelly guy stole from a drug dealer. Eddie also tells Nick the money is in Eddie’s car that is parked in a garage in downtown San Francisco. This bit of information comes in really handy because right as Eddie tells Nick the little squirrelly guy steals Eddie’s car, so now Nick and Eddie can follow the squirrelly guy to CEGIWB and the crazy guy from Predator. What was that noise? More blunt force trauma to my common sense. I swear to god that freaking screenwriter is packing a mother humping crowbar.
Nick and Eddie follow the squirrelly little guy to a bus station were they manage to not catch either the squirrelly little guy or the crazy twins. Nick goes back to the police station and gets in a fight with Annette O’Toole on the phone. Did I mention she’s wearing a low cut strapless dress, and did I mention if I watch this movie again she’ll be well on her way to being in my top three Hollywood actresses to help me through male menopause? What’s that? I’m over sharing? Thank you for being comfortable enough to express your feelings with me.
Luckily Eddie has managed to find the squirrelly little guy off camera, and Nick Nolte races over in his bombed out caddy and gets there just as the squirrelly little guy tries to give the money back to CEGIWB. CEGIWB being crazy kills the squirrelly little guy once he gets the money and tries to flee from the crime, in a city bus. Eddie and Nick give chase, but get run off the road and crash Nick’s old bombed out Caddy through a big window in a Cadillac dealership. I think Nigel said it best in Spinal Tap when he pointed out, “there’s a very fine line between clever and stupid.” This is so like that, only minus the clever part.
Eddie and Nick lose the bad guys and have to go back to the police station where the screaming black police lieutenant goes extra heavy on the screaming and the black. If you are a fan of screaming black police lieutenants then you need to watch this movie just for this scene. It’s a tour de force performance of pure 80′s cop movie gibberish.
Nick has to take Eddie back to prison (insert your own sad panda face here). They stop and get a drink on the way over (and in a classic part in the movie Nick Nolte drinks from a flask in a bar) and after Eddie makes an idle comment Nick decides to go over and check out the Crazy Guy from Predator’s girlfriend’s apartment because otherwise this movie is going to be a real downer.
The guys get over to the apartment and what do you know? The bad guys are still hanging around. Eddie and Nick split up when the get in the apartment. Eddie ends up killing the crazy guy from Predator in a pretty badass way. Eddie shoots the guy once, but two bullet holes appear in the guy’s chest. John Wayne never pulled off anything like that. You know what I’m forgiving Eddie for Daddy Daycare thanks to that little trick. Pluto Nash? Never forgive, never forget.
Nicky ends up chasing CEGIWB through some foggy alleys until the CEGIWB takes Eddie Murphy hostage. What’s that? That makes no sense? Keep it to yourself ok? I’ve had just about all the blunt force trauma to my common sense I can take for one night.
Anyway CEGIWB (who is now wearing this sleeveless down vest) tells Nick to drop his gun. Well fool Nick once, shame on you; try to fool Nick twice and he will most def put a cap in your ass. Nick shoots CEGIWB, and CEGIWB is shocked, shocked and appalled.
I mean you think you know somebody, you build a relationship on a simple bedrock foundation, like not getting shot by someone, and then suddenly they stab you in the back, or in this case shoot you in the shoulder. CEGIWB gets pretty steamed and runs full tilt at Nick, which gives Nick the perfect excuse to shoot the guy about five more times in super slow mo, killing CEGIWB. Afterwards Nick gives Eddie his money back and then they drive off into the moonlight to take Eddie back to jail where he will wait until the sequel. The end.
So what did we learn today? If you want to keep your kid out of trouble, invest in sleeves at an early age. Public safety can best be served by arming large drunks, and did I mention Annette O’Toole looks really, really good in this movie? This is a great movie for any Saturday when you don’t feel like scrubbing your toilet.