NATIONAL SECURITY

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Quality
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Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: January 17, 2003

Starring: Martin Lawrence, Steve Zahn,
Colm Feore, Eric Roberts, Bill
Duke, and Robinne Lee

Genre: Comedy/Action Adventure/Comic
Thriller/Police Thriller

Audience: Teenagers and adults REVIEWER:
Joseph L. Kalcso NATIONAL
SECURITY's paper thin plot,
utility shoot outs and
assorted car chases would not
have amounted to much of
anything if it hadn't been for
the effective chemistry, and a
candid new look at race
relations brought to the
surface by this odd couple of
law enforcement which, race
aside, turn out to have a lot
more in common then they
expected. The story begins
with a couple of Los Angeles
police officers responding to
a report of possible
suspicious activity in a
warehouse and running smack
into the middle of an
elaborate high tech heist. In
the ensuing shootout, one of
the officers gets killed, and
his partner, Hank (played by
Steve Zahn), feeling partially
responsible, vows not to rest
until he finds the killer. A
few days later Earl Montgomery
(Martin Lawrence), an African
American police academy
trainee, finds himself booted
from the academy for wearing
his race a little too loudly
on his sleeve and humiliating
his instructor in the process,
while wrecking one of the
academy's training cars.
Compounding his troubles, Earl
locks himself out of his car.
Hank, who happens to be
passing by on routine patrol,
approaches Earl as he tries to
break into his car. A heated
war of words ensues between
the two men and promptly
escalates when Earl accuses
Hank of racism. Just as Hank
is about to arrest him, a
bumblebee starts to buzz
around the two men. Earl is
highly allergic to bees and
freaks out. Hank wildly swings
his baton at the bee and tries
to stomp it with his feet, but
a bystander records his
actions with a home video. The
camera lens is partially
blocked by Earl's car,
however. The resulting footage
erroneously depicts Hank's
attempts to keep the bumblebee
from stinging Earl as the
actions of a white policeman
beating an innocent black
motorist. Hank is found guilty
by an all black jury and loses
his job with the police
department, even going to jail
for a short time. Hank also
loses his black girlfriend,
played by Robinne
Lee. Eventually, both Hank and
Earl wind up working for the
same security agency. Against
their most fervent desires,
they find themselves linked
together as reluctant partners
chasing a vicious band of
smugglers while the entire
L.A. police department chases
them. NATIONAL SECURITY does
not have very much to endorse.
It is laden with obscenities,
vulgarities, gratuitous action
violence, and some partial
nudity. The plot is
unimaginative and totally
generic. On the other hand,
this movie takes a
surprisingly sharp and honest
look at racial politics as
they exist in America today,
especially in the area of law
enforcement, and the thorny
issue of "profiling." Martin
Lawrence plays an insufferable
loudmouth hiding behind his
race for his own selfish
purposes, but he manages to
present this controversial
subject in a lighthearted, and
occasionally truly funny, way.
Using this skillful device,
Martin Lawrence makes it much
easier to raise some serious
questions about racism without
offending anyone, while
working with a fragile vehicle
at the same time. This is a
feat not to be quickly
dismissed. Steve Zahn equally
plays a strong role as the
boring, but honest, and
definitely non-racist white
cop. The rest of the cast
(Colm Feore, Eric Roberts,
Bill Duke, and Robinne Lee)
also do a credible job, but
not much more. The action
scenes in NATIONAL SECURITY
are strict formula. Some
continuity problems are
overlooked as well. In the
end, it is really a shame that
such an honest and funny
approach to racial politics
had to be wrapped up in such a
foul-mouthed, flimsy package.
Please address your comments
to: Amy Pascal,
Chairman Columbia
Pictures John Calley,
Chairman/CEO Sony Pictures
Entertainment 10202 West
Washington Blvd. Culver City,
CA 90232-3195 Phone: (310)
244-4000 Fax: (310)
244-2626 Web Page:
www.spe.sony.com/

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 90 minutes

Distributor: Columbia Pictures/Sony

Director: Dennis Dugan

Executive Producer:

Producer: Michael Green, Jeffrey Silver
and Robert F.
Newmyer EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS:
Moritz Borman, Martin Lawrence
and Nigel Sinclair

Writer: Jay Sherick and David Ronn

Address Comments To:

Content:

(Pa, B, LLL, VV, S, N, A, M) Pagan worldview but with politically correct views on race being mocked comically; about 75 obscenities (including one "f" word), three strong profanities and several vulgar terms for sex; action and comic action violence such as gunfire, car chases, people get shot, hand to hand combat, and policeman tries to swat bumblebee and smashes things; woman in underwear is playfully handcuffed for sex but none takes place and miscellaneous sexual humor in the dialogue; women in underwear, female cleavage and implied male nudity from the waist down; alcohol use; no smoking or drugs; and, stealing, smuggling, politically correct views on race are mocked, willingly false testimony, and policeman falsely sent to jail.

GENRE: Comedy/Action Adventure/Comic Thriller/Police Thriller

Pa

B

LLL

VV

S

N

A

M

Summary:

NATIONAL SECURITY is about a police academy trainee and police officer who, after losing their jobs, team up despite their racial differences to close the book on a vicious smuggling ring. Through all the formula gunfire, standard car chases and extensive foul language, there's a disarmingly fresh look at racial politics that comically mocks politically correct conspiracy theories.

Review:

NATIONAL SECURITY's paper thin plot, utility shoot outs and assorted car chases would not have amounted to much of anything if it hadn't been for the effective chemistry, and a candid new look at race relations brought to the surface by this odd couple of law enforcement which, race aside, turn out to have a lot more in common then they expected.

The story begins with a couple of Los Angeles police officers responding to a report of possible suspicious activity in a warehouse and running smack into the middle of an elaborate high tech heist. In the ensuing shootout, one of the officers gets killed, and his partner, Hank (played by Steve Zahn), feeling partially responsible, vows not to rest until he finds the killer.

A few days later Earl Montgomery (Martin Lawrence), an African American police academy trainee, finds himself booted from the academy for wearing his race a little too loudly on his sleeve and humiliating his instructor in the process, while wrecking one of the academy's training cars. Compounding his troubles, Earl locks himself out of his car. Hank, who happens to be passing by on routine patrol, approaches Earl as he tries to break into his car. A heated war of words ensues between the two men and promptly escalates when Earl accuses Hank of racism. Just as Hank is about to arrest him, a bumblebee starts to buzz around the two men. Earl is highly allergic to bees and freaks out. Hank wildly swings his baton at the bee and tries to stomp it with his feet, but a bystander records his actions with a home video. The camera lens is partially blocked by Earl's car, however. The resulting footage erroneously depicts Hank's attempts to keep the bumblebee from stinging Earl as the actions of a white policeman beating an innocent black motorist. Hank is found guilty by an all black jury and loses his job with the police department, even going to jail for a short time. Hank also loses his black girlfriend, played by Robinne Lee.

Eventually, both Hank and Earl wind up working for the same security agency. Against their most fervent desires, they find themselves linked together as reluctant partners chasing a vicious band of smugglers while the entire L.A. police department chases them.

NATIONAL SECURITY does not have very much to endorse. It is laden with obscenities, vulgarities, gratuitous action violence, and some partial nudity. The plot is unimaginative and totally generic. On the other hand, this movie takes a surprisingly sharp and honest look at racial politics as they exist in America today, especially in the area of law enforcement, and the thorny issue of "profiling."

Martin Lawrence plays an insufferable loudmouth hiding behind his race for his own selfish purposes, but he manages to present this controversial subject in a lighthearted, and occasionally truly funny, way. Using this skillful device, Martin Lawrence makes it much easier to raise some serious questions about racism without offending anyone, while working with a fragile vehicle at the same time. This is a feat not to be quickly dismissed.

Steve Zahn equally plays a strong role as the boring, but honest, and definitely non-racist white cop. The rest of the cast (Colm Feore, Eric Roberts, Bill Duke, and Robinne Lee) also do a credible job, but not much more.

The action scenes in NATIONAL SECURITY are strict formula. Some continuity problems are overlooked as well. In the end, it is really a shame that such an honest and funny approach to racial politics had to be wrapped up in such a foul-mouthed, flimsy package.

Please address your comments to:

Amy Pascal, Chairman

Columbia Pictures

John Calley, Chairman/CEO

Sony Pictures Entertainment

10202 West Washington Blvd.

Culver City, CA 90232-3195

Phone: (310) 244-4000

Fax: (310) 244-2626

Web Page: www.spe.sony.com/

SUMMARY: NATIONAL SECURITY is about a police academy trainee and police officer who, after losing their jobs, team up despite their racial differences to close the book on a vicious smuggling ring. Through all the formula gunfire, standard car chases and extensive foul language, there's a disarmingly fresh look at racial politics that comically mocks politically correct conspiracy theories.

In Brief: