Once upon a time, there was a television show that was genuinely cool. Robert Culp and Bill Cosby played smart, laid-back guys who traveled around to exotic and romantic locations saving the world. Everyone thought they were a tennis player and a coach who didn’t take anything very seriously, but we knew that they were in reality really smart guys who knew all kinds of great stuff and exchanged effortlessly witty wisecracks. The show was also quietly revolutionary. Bill Cosby was not only the first black actor to star in a television drama, but he played a supremely smart and capable spy who could also play tennis. The casual equality of the two leads just a few years after the march on Washington and the “I Have a Dream” speech was a milestone of the civil rights movement.
Now that television show has been remade as a forgettable buddy movie that feels like a rejected script for “Rush Hour 3.” Eddie Murphy plays an egotistical heavyweight champion who is teamed up with a spy played by Owen Wilson to go after a stolen invisible plane before it is sold to the highest bidder.
Murphy mugs, Wilson pines for his beautiful fellow spy (Famke Janssen), stuff blows up, and the credits roll. This movie is designed to be forgotten before you get the popcorn out of your teeth.
Parents should know that the movie is rough for a PG-13 with some raunchy humor and many knee-to-the-groin scenes.
Families who see this movie should talk about why it was so hard for Scott to tell Rachel how he felt.
Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy “Rush Hour” and “Shanghai Noon.”