Actor Martin Lawrence recently suffered heat exhaustion leading to a several day coma. The subsequent unwelcome publicity actually provided fortuitous buzz for his new movie BLUE STREAK. A one-joke movie, it yields mild yucks and lowbrow entertainment, is modest on strong immoral content, but ultimately rewards crime.
Lawrence plays Miles Logan, who begins the story trying to steal a large diamond. The police spoil the heist, and Miles is captured but not before he is able to hide the diamond in a heating duct in a structure nearby. Logan spends two years in prison. When he is released, he returns to the now completed building to recover the diamond, only to discover it is now a police station. He steals an access badge from a young detective named Carlson (Luke Wilson) and impersonates a detective as he scours the ducts to find the diamond.
The police chief and the other policeman do not recognize him and team him up with Carlson to do field work in burglary. Since he himself is a burglar, he knows how a burglar thinks and does great work. Furthermore, he enjoys arresting his competitors on the street who walk right up to him because they don’t know he is pretending to be a cop. Eventually, he finds the diamond, but must become wrapped up in a dangerous sting operation involving a notorious crime lord. He also tangles with a rotten former partner, Deacon (Peter Greene). Ultimately, he recovers the diamond, his true identity is discovered, and he is let go on a technicality.
BLUE STREAK is basically a one-joke movie, with one goofy joke after another relating to a) Logan’s constant ruse impersonating a police officer, and b) his constant pursuit of the diamond. Lawrence adequately displays his acting chops, but the material is quite remedial. Police and thugs are all cookie-cutter characters. In fact, some of them play way below their expected level of intelligence, a dramatic device necessitating Lawrence to progress with his pursuit. Carlson is very dim-witted, on the level of the worst of the POLICE ACADEMY members. Implausibilities run rampant, such as the real police not recovering the diamond in the first place, and Logan being able to fool so many people for so long. Hard to swallow, even for this comedy.
Thankfully, obscenities are kept relatively low – a welcome relief after frequent, foul movies featuring African-American leads. Likewise, violence is moderate and sex and nudity are none existent. Yet, the worse offense is that Logan’s criminal act finally pays. Not only does he get to have fun busting all his old crime buddies, but he obtains the diamond and walks away from the police. This plot device is also found in this year’s ENTRAPMENT and THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR. Hence, BLUE STREAK strikes out morally and only marginally amuses with its silly humor and predictable story line.
Pagan worldview of criminal who masquerades as a policeman & eventually gets away with his crime; 15 obscenities & 6 profanities; moderate violence including shooting, man falls to death from building & lands on police car, threats of violence, & a few punches; no sex but a few sexual references; no nudity; alcohol use; smoking & drug deal that is busted; and, lying, impersonating a police officer & stealing rewarded.