Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time!
Empire's Guardians Of The Galaxy Cover
Does Star Wars Have A Brain Trust?
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
Subscribe: 6 Issues For £15!
Subscribe today and save 37% off the cover price!
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Nick Nolte
Eddie Murphy
Annette O'Toole
Frank McRae
James Remar
Steven E de Souza.
Directors
Walter Hill.
Screenwriters
Walter Hill
Roger Spottiswoode.
Running Time
96 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
A Promise
1 Star Empire Rating
Galapagos Affair: Satan Came To Eden, The
3 Star Empire Rating
Nut Job, The
2 Star Empire Rating
Mr. Morgan's Last Love
3 Star Empire Rating
Blackwood
2 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Some Like It Hot
5 Star Empire Rating
A Hard Day's Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Boyhood
5 Star Empire Rating
Rebel Without A Cause
5 Star Empire Rating

48 Hours


submit to reddit


Plot
On the trail of two cop-killers, boozy cop Jack Cates“borrows” their former partner, the wisecracking Reggie Hammond, from jail to help him trace them. The problem is his parole is fixed at a slight two days. Oh, and Reggie has his own agenda. Oh, and they really, really don’t get on.


Review

Although dated, there is a brute edginess to this popular slice of formula odd coupling. It’s not just about Eddie Murphy’s foul-mouthed comebacks, although they were never as bouncy or cutting as here, or Nick Nolte’s irresponsible bullyboy pose he has spent the rest of his career trying to unseat, but also the way Walter Hill pitches a ready Hollywood staple into a harder, dare-we-say more realistic world. It’s as if Lemmon and Matthau had stumbled into The French Connection, with the added spice of race.
 
Indeed, there’s more than a casual tip-of-the-hat in Murphy’s (possibly career best) scene in which, posing as a cop, he saunters into a redneck bar, Confederate Flag pressed to the wall, humming with racist lunks, and jives his way to supremacy. It’s the direct inverse of Gene Hackman’s take-over of a black-filled Harlem bar in that famous thriller. “I'm your worst fucking nightmare, man!” snaps Reggie to the dumbstruck clientele. “A nigger with a badge.” The writing is an equal to Murphy’s whiplash tongue.
 
As this is a film by Hill, who has busily traded in a violent, earthbound machismo (Southern Comfort, The Warriors) it hardly pulls its punches. If anything, this must surely count as the most violent “comedy” in film history, as Hill dwells on the many bare-knuckle beatings (usually involving Nolte) that are his particular filmic peccadillo. Yet, he’s also a skilled purveyor of a piquant, scuzzy atmosphere, a lurid, criminal underbelly where it takes two distrustful specimens to further the cause of good. 
 
Their story is regulation potboiling, the bad-guys are simply that, bad to the bone, the good guys have the bonus of character and the two stars are having a ball. Nolte no less than the showpiece his partner grants, threads in a sense of pressing moral determination beneath his louche, jack-the-rules exterior. That the fact they come to appreciate one other, the grudging respect of a million clichés, feels so satisfyingly, shows just how successful the film is.




Reviewed by Ian Nathan

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for 48 Hours
Empire Star Rating

RE: 48 Hours

In a word, fantastic. 48 Hrs. is Walter Hill´s best film. Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte are both extraordinarily good. One of my personal favorites. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Kazuya at 23:48, 23 November 2006 | Report This Post


SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Video: Dwayne Johnson And Ian McShane Talk Hercules
The Rock and his seer talk action and ancient superheroes

Classic Feature: The Making Of The Silence Of The Lambs
Is this the most frightening movie ever made?

Classic Feature: Jack Nicholson - Gods Among Us
Charisma, consistency and cunning summed up in a single word: Jack.

Director Matt Reeves Spills Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes Secrets
What we learned from our Empire podcast spoiler special

Peter Fonda On Peter Fonda
The Hollywood legend relives his career highlights

Kevin Feige Talks Ant-Man, Guardians Of The Galaxy And Doctor Strange
The Marvel boss updates us on the state of his cinematic universe

Video: Gary Oldman And Keri Russell Talk Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes
Would you watch Carry On Up The Planet Of The Apes?

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time Subscribers' Cover

Subscribe today and get the cover and 3 issues for only £10!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)