starring Robert De Niro, Eddie Murphy, Rene Russo, Ken Hudson Campbell
screenplay by Keith Sharon and Alfred Gough & Miles Millar
directed by Tom Dey
by Walter Chaw Shaping up as a spoof but neither smart enough to earn that label nor exciting enough to sustain interest otherwise, Tom Dey's slick Showtime is an incoherent mess of a film that relies on explosions and volume to distract from its tin ear and flat pacing. It wants desperately to be a self-aware genre exercise in the Scream vein, but after its characters mention that there are "rules" to the buddy-cop flick, it chooses to demonstrate them rather than subvert them. Screenwriters-by-committee Keith Sharon, Alfred Gough, and Miles Millar, patching together an abominable iteration of the same old Lethal Weapon tropes, have conspired to get De Niro to immediately make 15 Minutes again (but as an alleged intentional comedy) and to continue Eddie Murphy's typecasting as an animated jackass. Piling on the offenses, Showtime suffers from a few distracting plotholes, an obviously tacked-on prologue meant to elicit a Kindergarten Cop-esque brand of "isn't it funny to scare children with a terrifying actor," and a score by Alan Silvestri that actually approximates the feel of hammers to the brainpan.