1997 Movie Review: METRO, 1997 (Eddie Murphy)


Movie Reviews

Directed by: Thomas Carter

Starring: Eddie Murphy, Michael Rapaport, Kim Miyori, James Carpenter, Art Evans, Donal Logue, Jeni Chua, Denis Arndt

Review by Russell Hill


Roper, a hostage negotiator catches a murderous bank robber after a blown heist. The bank robber escapes and immediately goes after the man who put him behind bars. The ending is played out with Roper and his partner McCall attempting to rescue Roper’s kidnapped girlfriend. A major element in the plot is the relationship between Roper and his girlfriend.


I am always thankful to the BBC for their late night films. Not only do they show movies which otherwise escape many people’s attention but the movies which they do show star some bone-fide legendary actors and actresses which shout out to you that you should be watching this movie; this can certainly be said about this movie in particular.

A respected yet unorthodox hostage negotiator, Inspector Scott Roper (Murphy) is at the top of his game. Resolving any tricky situation with whatever approach he believes is best, he might not act by the books but Roper gets the job done. To his dismay, a new hostage negotiator arrives in town and it is down to Roper to teach Kevin (Rapaport) how it’s done. Not only does Roper have this to deal with but also a former-bank robber who has been released and has a vendetta against Roper. Who will survive?

Although his career has gone downhill recently, it is only the “Shrek” movies which have saved his career and given it a new lease of life. Eddie Murphy was once the funniest man in Hollywood but has lost that edge thanks to many forgettable roles. This film is not one of them and shows one of his last great films that he has appeared in.

One actor whose career has not dwindled is Rapaport. Regular in work, in the other films and television shows I have seen him appear in he has excelled and after looking on his profile on http://www.imdb.com he has appeared in nearly ninety different projects in just over two decades. This man’s workrate is nothing short of remarkable; maybe Murphy should take a leaf out of his book and not keep his expectations so high?

The director at the helm is Thomas Carter. A respected director who has worked for over thirty years, he directs the high-pace action extraordinarily well. There are multiple scenes where cars come crashing over one and other along with Trams smashing into whatever comes to hand. For action sequences to be shot in this convincing way is remarkable and if there was ever another “Die Hard” film (with one rumoured to be released in 2012) then Carter should be considered to front this.

Not one of Murphy’s most well-known films, this should be corrected as the comedy which he displays is top-notch and with support by the likes of Rapaport and directed by Carter this is a must-see for anyone who prefers their ‘cop’ movies to be fast-paced and full to the brim with action scenes.

METRO, 1997

1997 Movie Review: COP LAND, 1997

Movie Reviews

Directed by: James Mangold

Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta, Rober De Niro, Peter Berg, Janeane Garofalo, Robert Patrick, Michael Rapaport
Review by Jarred Thomas


The sheriff of a suburban New Jersey community populated by New York City policeman slowly discovers the town is a front for mob connections and corruption.



Writer/director James Mangold creates a film that examines the underbelly of corruption among New York City cops who reside in New Jersey, bending the rules to fit their needs while hiding a dark secret about a recent murder. Sylvester Stallone plays the morally straight New Jersey cop who suffered an ear injury that has relegated him to only work small time crimes. He has become something of joke among most of the residents, in particular NY cops led by Harvey Keitel who reside in the community.

Stallone’s understated performance plays against type and he does a wonderful job in his role. Stallone gained weight for the role and it adds to the character as he appears slow and out of shape. He looks like a real person and not some caricature. It’s a quiet performance unlike his previous films and one that gained Stallone critical praise from critics and peers.

Freddy Heflin (Stallone) is the sheriff of a fictional town called Garrison in New Jersey. When he was a teenager he jumped into the river to save a girl who plunged in from the bridge. In doing so, he damaged his ear making him unable to become an officer on the streets. Now, he’s relegated to perform small deeds such as preserving the peace, scolding rowdy children and check parking. His authority is limited, if he has any at all.

Cop Land is a look at big city corruption in a small town. Harvey Keitel as Ray Donlan does a nice job in his role playing a corrupt officer who acts with more authority in town then he really has, but when he speaks, people listen out of fear. Donlan has ties with the mob which have allowed him to have certain cops placed in his town, giving the name “Cop Land.” Many of the houses in town were bought through dirty money and the depravity doesn’t end there.

Ray’s nephew, Murray (Rapaport), a young cop, unintentionally kills to two black teens after his car side swipes them. Out of fear of racial incident, Ray tries to fake Murray’s suicide. However, when Moe Tilden (De Niro), an Internal Affairs investigator comes investigating, he smells a cover up. Not willing to get caught, Ray tries to have Murray killed, but the job doesn’t go as planned leading Murray to seek the help of Freddy. Can Freddy stand up against the corruption in town or is he simply out of his league?

Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel both provide a well needed boost of energy in this film because although Stallone does a solid job as the slow witted sheriff, there’s really not much to speak of with the other actors. Liotta plays a good/bad cop whose conscience is starting to get the best of him and his loyalties come into question. But it feels clichéd like most of the other characters who hit only one note.

Cop Land has its strong moments, most coming from the three actors De Niro, Keitel and Stallone, but it’s not entirely enough. Towards the middle of the movie, it meanders a bit like Freddy does, maybe even more. Perhaps Stallone being out of his action element too draws attention to itself, and when he finally picks up a weapon the action scene is far too predictable to be even remotely believable. There’s just not enough to recommend this film despite the standout performance of Stallone.