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Blu-ray Review: Another 48 Hrs. (1990)

October 13, 2021

By John Corrado

In 1982, Eddie Murphy made his big screen debut in director Walter Hill’s buddy cop movie 48 Hrs., playing smooth-talking convict Reggie Hammond to Nick Nolte’s gruff cop Jack Cates.

It was well received by critics and became a box office hit, prompting Hill to reunite with Murphy and Nolte eight years later for Another 48 Hrs., which has just gotten a new Blu-ray release from Paramount. While this 1990 sequel has its moments, it is also a case of diminishing returns, as it only partially recaptures the success of Murphy and Nolte’s first go-around.

The film is set seven years after the events of the first one, and finds Nolte’s Jack and Murphy’s Reggie being forced to work together again to stop another crime spree. Jack has spent several years tracking a mysterious drug kingpin known as “The Iceman,” and Reggie, who is about to be released from prison, is his best lead. They are also being pursued by a motorcycle gang led by Richard Ganz (Andrew Divoff), the brother of the first film’s villain, which already feels like a more clichéd and less original place to start.

The first film was released a full two years before Murphy took on the role of a police officer himself in Beverly Hills Cop, a massive hit in 1984 that cemented his status as a movie star, and Another 48 Hrs. feels like it was largely made to capitalize on his bankability as a leading man after a string of hits for Paramount. It’s not a terrible film on its own terms, and is mildly entertaining to watch. But it pales in comparison to the original, and fails to deliver the same number of genuine laughs or thrills.

The original cut of this sequel reportedly came in well over two hours (145 minutes to be precise), but the studio cut it down to a scant 95 minutes for the theatrical release, putting the focus more simply on action and humour at the expense of plot and character development. This not only removes a lot of the intricacies from the film’s central mystery, but also makes the story feel disjointed and slapdash in its assembly, with some plot holes and pacing issues that are quite evident in the final product.

The first film was a surprisingly gritty movie that had a live-wire energy to it and found the right balance between action and humour, where as Another 48 Hrs. delivers the bare minimum in terms of the buddy cop formula. It feels like a more generic action movie. Still, while it’s not as memorable as it was the first time around, Nolte and Murphy do have decent interplay together, and there are entertaining moments sprinkled throughout this sequel. The film also looks quite pristine on Blu-ray, remastered from a 4K film transfer.

Bonus Features (Blu-ray):

The Blu-ray comes with a new featurette and an archival trailer for the film. There is no digital copy included in the package.

NEW – Filmmaker Focus: Director Walter Hill on Another 48 Hrs. (14 minutes, 35 seconds): Hill candidly reflects on making the film, including how Murphy initially approached him about doing a sequel, as well as the film’s tight shooting schedule, the criticisms that it received, and the success it enjoyed at the worldwide box office.

Theatrical Trailer (1 minute, 31 seconds)

Another 48 Hrs. is a Paramount Home Entertainment release. It’s 95 minutes and rated 18A.

Street Date: October 12th, 2021

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