MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -3

Eddie Murphy follows up his recent "comeback" in The Nutty Professor with a rather conventional action picture. He plays Scott Roper, a San Francisco police inspector specializing in negotiating hostage situations. The principal story line has little to do with that talent, however, as Roper's partner is killed by cunning but psychotic diamond thief Michael Korda (Michael Wincott). Despite the usual admonitions from his supervisor to stay away from the case, Roper has several confrontations with Korda. Included is an extended chase sequence that starts out in cars but eventually concludes on a runaway cable car. In between action sequences Roper breaks in a new partner (Michael Rapaport), although their interaction provides only marginal humor. Roper's romantic relationship with news photographer Ronnie Tate (Carmen Ejogo) exists mostly to provide a damsel in distress that he can rescue. Surprisingly low on comedy, Metro has some appeal for action film buffs but may disappoint fans of Murphy's funnier movies like Beverly Hills Cop.

The film may be short on laughs, but it has a considerable amount of violence. Roper's partner is stabbed repeatedly and has his throat slashed by Korda. Ronnie is assaulted by Korda's henchman, who is killed when he steps in front of a car trying to get away. Roper has a couple of violent fist fights with Korda. Frequent gunplay includes several bloody wounds and killings. Language is appalling, particularly with dozens of obscenities continually appearing in the dialogue. In one scene intended to be humorous, Roper takes the role of a foul-mouthed criminal during a training exercise for his new partner, frequently repeating the "f-word." Female breast and rear nudity is present while Roper and his girlfriend are visiting a beach in Tahiti just before the final credits roll. This totally gratuitous moment adds one more black mark against an already dreadful movie.

Preview Reviewer: Mark Perry
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution (Touchstone Pictures), 3900 W. Alameda Ave., Burbank, CA 91521

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (23) times - Mild 5, Moderate 18

Obscene Language: Many (142) times - f-word 89, s-word 50, other 3

Profanity: Several (7) times - Regular 7 (G-d 4, for C's sake 2, J 1), Exclamatory 1

Violence: Several times - Moderate and severe (gunfire with bloody wounds and killings, stabbing, throat slashing, attack with knife, fist fights, beatings, severed ear shown, car chases with vehicular destruction, car crash with immense explosion, runaway cable car causes much damage, man run over by car)

Sex: None

Nudity: Few times, female breast nudity, rear nudity; near nudity with women in bikinis, woman shown in bra

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Passionate kiss, man talks about getting naked on vacation with woman

Drugs: Smoking, wine drinking

Other: Hero is compulsive gambler; racial slur (n-word) used once

Running Time: 117 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.