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Blue Streak Review

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Martin Lawrence plays a jewel thief posing as a cop in order to retrieve a stolen diamond stashed in a station house, only to develop a taste for genuine policework.

★★★★

Circumstantial evidence it may be, but the circumstances are telling: provide Martin Lawrence with a partner and he'll do okay - Bad Boys, Life, maybe Nothing To Lose. Let him out alone and things get dangerous: A Thin Line Between Love And Hate, and this late-'80s, action comedy throwback, which is jogging with too many clothes on.

When the hi-tech heist of a $20 million diamond is sabotaged by a greedy member of his crew, Miles Logan (Lawrence) scampers hairily to an adjacent, partly-constructed building and stows the gem in a ventilation duct, memorising its location for post-prison collection. Guess what, though? The building's become a cop shop. And guess what, again? Rather than employing the nocturnal retrieval techniques of his chosen trade, Logan feels suddenly compelled to gain entry by impersonating a police officer, hoodwinking all at Bobbie Central and discovering that his felonious mind is the perfect tool for effective, if unorthodox, crime-fighting. Stop, you're killing us. No, really: please stop.

Luke Wilson is left struggling in the naive, by-the-book partner role, but given sibling Owen's recent Haunting, at least he'll be able to join in the Big Budget Duds I've Been In This Year discussion over Christmas dinner. And although the supporting cast features the likes of William Forsythe and Peter Greene, it really could have been anyone, because this is a one-man showcase.

Unfortunately, what it shows is that Lawrence lacks the presence to carry an action comedy alone - he, and it, running out of steam long before a ridiculous, over-pumped finale on the Mexican border. There's probably one laugh worth having, but that's about as hard to find as Logan's vexing sparkler.

This lame, Lethal Weapon by-product rests solely on Lawrence's shoulders, and they're less sexy than Will Smith's and less funny than Eddie Murphy's. It's as if 48 Hours never happened.

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