Blue Streak

on September 17, 1999 by Francesca Dinglasan
Martin Lawrence's special brand of in-your-face physical humor is the driving force behind his latest vehicle, "Blue Streak," a decently jocose but wholly uneven action-comedy that comes as the summer season ends--a release date sure to hurt boxoffice receipts considering that teen-aged and early-twentysomething males (the audience most likely to be drawn to this pic) will be back in school by film's opening.
Lawrence is professional thief Miles Logan, a high-tech safecracker whose jewel heist goes awry when Deacon, a double-crossing member of his team, attempts to murder his cohorts and keep all the profits from the stolen diamond. Miles, scrambling to escape from Deacon as well as pursuing police officers, ends up in a newly constructed building's vent system with the multi-million dollar rock in hand. Aware of his imminent arrest once he leaves the building, Miles duct-tapes the precious stone inside the vent, determined to recover it at a later date.
The story picks up two years later when Miles, fresh out of prison, discovers that the building housing his diamond has been turned into an LAPD station. Visual slapstick abounds as he schemes his way onto the building's third floor where the gem awaits. Desperate to get past the tight security, Miles' antics include disguising himself as a wacked-out pizza delivery boy (performed in Lawrence's typical over-the-top style) and, to greater success, impersonating a newly-transferred robbery detective.
Inadvertent ly stopping a criminal attempting to escape the precinct, Miles earns the respect of his new "co-workers," including his assigned partner, the straight-laced Carlson (Luke Wilson). The pair is ordered to investigate a case and subsequently become embroiled in a series of adventures that keep Miles from getting to his hidden treasure.
Fans of Lawrence's work are sure to be amused by the actor's trademark frantic delivery; highlights include Miles imitating scenes from TV's "Cops" to prepare for his scam as well as an "NYPD Blue"-style interrogation to convince observing police officers that he's the real thing. Unfortunately, much of Lawrence's verbal humor is more miss than hit, with the misses certain to come off as juvenile to the uninitiated ("Can I buy you some cereal?" he offers as an apology to an overweight relative of his ex-girlfriend). Throwing off the jovial mood, too, is a good deal of unexpected violence that occurs at the wildly unbelievable ending, making the B.S. of "Blue Streak" that much more noticeable. Starring Martin Lawrence, Luke Wilson, Peter Greene and David Chappelle. Directed by Les Mayfield. Written by Michael Berry and John Blumenthal. Produced by Peaches Davis, Michael Fottrell and Toby Jaffe. A Columbia release. Comedy. Rated PG-13 for some violence and language. Running time: 93 min.
Tags: Starring Martin Lawrence, Luke Wilson, Peter Greene, David Chappelle. Directed by Les Mayfield. Written by Michael Berry and John Blumenthal, Produced by Peaches Davis, Michael Fottrell, Toby Jaffe, Columbia, Comedy

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