3 StarsMotor mouthed Eddie Murphy is ideally cast as a SFPD hostage negotiator in the action thriller Metro. The typically loquacious movie star plays Scott Roper, a variation on his fast-talking, wise-cracking screen persona. But, instead of being a distraction the energy from Murphy is put to good use by director Thomas Carter. The Bay Area setting and the white/black partnership are purposefully reminiscent of Murphy’s early hit 48hrs.. Metro isn’t in that league, but it is an entertaining picture with a great action set-piece involving a vintage Cadillac and a runaway trolly-car.
Roper (Murphy) is the department’s top negotiator, but he is also a bit of a lout. He harbors a gambling addition and places the job above loved ones. This explains how he lost the woman of his dreams, now engaged to a baseball star. To make matters worse Scott has been assigned a new partner (Michael Rapaport), fresh from sniper school but lacking experience in the field. The film starts with an extended set-piece that shows the quick-witted Roper in action, as he talks down a bank robber who may accidentally kill someone. This sets the tone for the remainder of the movie, alternating between humorous interludes and hard-core violence. The villain of the piece is a jewel thief named, Michael Korda (Michael Wincott). As played by the off-beat Wincott with a fierce intensity, the bad-guy nearly overpowers the entire movie.
While investigating a random break-in, Roper’s friend in the department (Art Evans) is brutally murdered. Of course, the brass doesn’t want Roper near the case, but he eventually finds himself knee-deep, when the psychotic killer takes his girlfriend as bait. This concludes with a well-staged if improbable end sequence that poses an interesting dilemma for our hero. That sequence along with the spectacular car chase down the slopping streets of San Francisco elevate this routinely written picture into something special. Along with his previous picture The Nutty Professor, Murphy has found himself again, welcome back Ed.
Director: Thomas Carter
Stars: Eddie Murphy, Michael Rapaport, Michael Wincott