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Blue Streak

Starring Martin Lawrence, Luke Wilson, Peter Greene, Dave Chappelle and William Forsythe
Written by Michael Berry & John Blumenthal and Steve Carpenter
Directed by Les Mayfield
website: www.sony.com/bluestreak

IN SHORT: Fall's first popcorn flick. (and only two weeks early . . .) [Rated PG-13, 93 minutes]

So... Cranky mingles with the crowd filing in to see a sneak of Blue Streak but he's stopped at the door by a press rep demanding... "Do you need notes?" Has demographic targeting gone so far that a pale guy can't enjoy a Martin Lawrence flick? Or is it that, after five years of running the preview route, these guys have finally figured out that I'm in this end of the biz for the long run? I'll choose the latter, 'cuz Blue Streak is a decent comedy popcorn flick and good comedy knows no racial barrier. To put it another way, Blue Streak's script lingo doesn't drown you in street talk and the music to talk ratio is remarkably low. Anyone in fear of rap music or slang need not fear.

Here's what I consider interesting. The reviewers who saw Blue Streak long before me are busy making comparisons to black comedians whose shadows dominate the field. There's a longer, and sadly long forgotten shadow that Blue Streak's comedy is closer to, and those are the films of Jerry Lewis, the guy who does the MDA telethon every year. Those flicks went like this: Ordinary guy has to go to extraordinary lengths, usually involving outrageous disguises and impersonations to obtain a goal. That goal was usually a date with a girl -- the better Lewis flicks were made in the 50's. Considering that Lewis' stock character was a total doofus, getting a date was almost as implausible as finding the Holy Grail.

In Blue Streak, ordinary guy Miles Logan (Lawrence) has to go to extraordinary lengths, including one outrageous costume and one major impersonation to obtain his heart's desire. This being the 90s, Lawrence is a hi-tech jewelry thief who gets double crossed by one of his crew, and is forced to stash a diamond worth $17 millions inside a building under construction. When Miles goes to retrieve the loot after a two year prison term, he discovers that the building houses the 37th Precinct of the LAPD. To get into the building, he tries to sneak into the building as a pizza delivery man, complete with Lewis style glasses, buck teeth and dead on Lewis shtick. It's too obvious and too darn funny to be anything but an homage, which is why I've spent so much time on the comparison. That attempt fails, so the only logical next step is to impersonate a cop.

Which, of course, he does brilliantly, having spent many man hours watching COPS. Yeah, I've blabbed a gag. The shtick which comes before and after is plentiful, so nothing's been ruined. Watching Lawrence get sucked deeper and deeper into his impersonation knowing that it's just a matter of time until the ruse is uncovered is truly funny. Cops are checking out "the new guy" on one side of the equation. The members of his gang are pressing on the other side, wanting their share of the diamond. The supporting cast, including Peter Greene and Dave Chappelle as the rest of the burglary crew, Luke Wilson as the traffic cop turned detective and William Forsythe as top cop is strong and though there is one point where the needs of the story force an unbelievable coincidence to occur, Blue Streak provides a fun time.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Blue Streak, he would have paid...

$5.00

Dateflick level. Buy the big popcorn and settle in.

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2016   by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.