Another 48 Hrs., 1990.
Directed by Walter Hill.
Starring Nick Nolte, Eddie Murphy, Brion James, Andrew Divoff, and Ed O’Ross.
Paramount has followed up its remastered Blu-ray release of 48 Hrs. with the same treatment for the underwhelming sequel, Another 48 Hrs., for its high-def debut. Like the first film, the sequel only has the theatrical trailer and a conversation with director Walter Hill as its bonus features.
Since Paramount was putting together a 4K remaster of 48 Hrs., they decided to give its sequel, Another 48 Hrs., the same treatment. Released eight years after the original, this film again pairs Nick Nolte as “I’ve had enough of this crap” detective Jack Cates with Eddie Murphy as wise-cracking convict Reggie Hammond. Technically, Reggie is an ex-con for most of this movie.
The basic plot involves Jack’s long-term pursuit of a mysterious drug kingpin known as The Iceman, who has gotten away from him several times and whose identity is shrouded in secrecy. Jack discovers that The Iceman wants Reggie dead for some reason, so he uses Reggie’s money that he was holding onto from the first movie as leverage to get Reggie to help him.
The script attempts to replicate the contentious nature of their relationship from the first film, but it feels forced this time, and there aren’t nearly as many funny, quotable moments. Murphy even reprises singing “Roxanne,” as if someone decided that the best way to get laughs the second time was to just repeat a classic moment from the first movie.
Like the first movie, the plot moves quickly and the story wraps up in under 100 minutes, but Another 48 Hrs. is more convoluted than the original, with more characters and sub-plots to keep track of. The story can get confusing at times, since there are multiple bad guys, including one who’s the brother of one of the guys from the first film. They’re all out to get Reggie for some reason, and the brother wants to take out Jack for obvious reasons, but they also seem to be working at cross purposes for reasons that aren’t always clear.
The story in Hollywood is that director Walter Hill’s cut of the film clocked in at 140 minutes and had a lot more depth to the sub-plots, which is supported by the fact that the trailer included here contains shots not in the movie. Brion James in particular has publicly complained that his role, which he reprised from the first film, was originally much larger, saying “I lost every major scene I had” in one interview.
Another 48 Hrs. was chopped to 120 minutes, either by Hill or the studio, and then Paramount decided to further reduce it to 95 minutes for its release. Supposedly the longer version explained that Jack has 48 hours in this film to clear his name, similar to how Reggie had a 48-hour prison pass in the first one, so without that bit of information, the title doesn’t make much sense. It’s unknown if the longer cut of the movie still exists. If it does, it’s a shame it couldn’t be included on this disc. At a minimum, the major deleted scenes would have been interesting to see.
In the end, Another 48 Hrs. is perhaps notable simply as a harbinger of what action movies would be like in the 90s. Whereas 48 Hrs. still had vestiges of grim and gritty 70s cop movies, especially in its first act, this installment goes for over-the-top action and violence pretty much from the get-go.
One such set piece, in which the bus taking Reggie from the prison flips several times and is then hit by a semi-trailer truck, is remarked on several times afterward, with comments about how lucky Reggie is to be alive. For his part, Reggie describes the bus as flipping 17 times in one scene and 20 times in another. (It was really three or four.) I found it interesting that there was a desire to explain how he survived such an over-the-top moment, since later action movies seemed to adopt an attitude of, “Hey, just go with this and suspend your disbelief” when dealing with similar scenes.
Like Paramount’s release of 48 Hrs., Another 48 Hrs. was remastered in 4K for this Blu-ray release. I imagine that a 4K UltraHD Blu-ray of the first film is probably somewhere on the horizon, but I don’t know that there’s necessarily a fan base clamoring for the sequel in 4K. In fact, Another 48 Hrs. hasn’t been issued on Blu-ray before now, unlike the first one.
Also like the first movie, the only bonus features found on this platter are the trailer and a conversation with Walter Hill that was conducted via video conference. The chat runs about 14 minutes and makes it clear from the beginning that the director was lukewarm on the idea of making a sequel, which is never a good sign for a film.
Hill even says early on, “I was thinking maybe I should let this one go by, except I didn’t want anyone else to do it.” That kind of thinking is never a good sign either. From there, Hill discusses the making of the film, including that aforementioned bus accident that he says was something no one had done before in a movie. (Feel free to fact check that observation.) Unfortunately, he doesn’t talk about the studio interference that significantly chopped down the running time.
Paramount also threw in a code for a digital copy of the movie.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★