Lawrence stumbles through a string of non sequitur and nonsensical jokes--he brags about his "periphery" vision--painfully reminding us why he is no Richard Pryor (his obvious role model). Lawrence, who mumbles many of his lines unintelligibly, is clearly out of sync in this role.
As the straight-arrow cop, Zahn provides the movie with a few genuinely funny moments, but he and Lawrence clearly have no chemistry together; their exchanges irritate rather than dazzle. Eric Roberts barely registers as a smuggler, while Bill Duke and Colm Feore as police brass are given too little screen time.
Screenwriters David Ronn and Jay Scherick, who collaborated on the misfire "I Spy," toss off their string of bad racial jokes that, when they aren't off-putting, hit the screen with a mighty thud. Starring Martin Lawrence, Steve Zahn, Colm Feore and Eric Roberts. Directed by Dennis Dugan. Written by David Ronn and Jay Scherick. Produced by Michael Green, Robert F. Newmyer and Jeffrey Silver. A Columbia release. Action/Comedy. Rated PG-13 for violence, language and some sensuality. Running time: 87 min