Starring: Martin Lawrence, Steve Zahn, Colm Feore
Director: Dennis Dugan
Running Time: 88 mins
National Security is an American film about two security guards who, despite a difficult personal relationship with one another, find themselves partnered together as they attempt to bring down a smuggling operation.
Though it features two energetic performances and a story with all the potential for hilarious hijinks, National Security just isn’t that funny. Martin Lawrence and Steve Zahn give it their all, but can’t save a predictable and fairly dull screenplay with little in the way of great comedy.
Given that it’s a film first and foremost made to make you laugh – no matter how silly things may seem – National Security really is quite a frustrating watch. Try as it might to be frenetic, crazy and off-the-chain, there really aren’t any big laughs here, while the film’s central running joke is more irritating than ever particularly hilarious.
Revolving around a former cop who is forced to go to prison after being falsely accused of beating a black man by the side of the road, the two men unexpectedly unite on a chaotic crime-stopping adventure.
But rather than turning into an unlikely buddy cop story, National Security sees Lawrence and Zahn at each other’s throats for almost the whole film, with little in the way of repent for the earlier events that proves enormously annoying all the way through.
The irritating dynamic between the pair doesn’t put you in much of a mood to enjoy ridiculous and chaotic comedy as they chase down a criminal gang, only proving an extra point of frustration in a film that becomes more and more annoying by the minute.
In its defence, National Security is undoubtedly an energetic film. Whether it uses that energy to good effect is another matter, but if you’re looking for a comedy that doesn’t stop for a breath – no matter how irritating it may be – then it might be worth your time.
Saying that, films like Bad Boys or Blue Streak are far more tolerable than National Security, and have a good blend of charisma and actually decent humour, so I would point you in their direction rather than sitting through this.
National Security is annoying all the way through, never particularly funny, and generally a predictable cop comedy. Its strong energy and zany lead performances are commendable, but they do little to make it any more entertaining, which is why I’m giving it 5.7 overall.