Blue Streak is yet another buddy cop comedy/action movie. From a distance, it’s pretty indistinguishable from all the rest. It seems the only thing that changes with each new movie is which new actor will take the lead. Martin Lawrence isn’t new to acting or to comedy, but this is his first solo leading role. He’s not the best or the brightest star, but he has his moments.
The setup is pretty clever: a jewel thief (Lawrence) gets caught stealing diamonds, but before the cops grab him, he stashes the loot in the air duct of a brand new building. When he gets out of prison, all he has to do is get back in, find the right air duct, and walk away. The only catch is that the new building is now a full-fledged police station. (Blue Streak was written by Michael Berry and John Blumenthal — their only other effort was Short Time, another movie that went nowhere in spite of a clever setup).
Some of the set pieces are pretty ridiculous. Lawrence dresses as a goofy, ugly pizza delivery boy to try to get access to the ducts. When that doesn’t work, he watches the TV show COPS to learn how to impersonate an officer, hoping to get to the duct in disguise.
The impersonation ruse works. He gets in to the building, and gets all the way to the right duct. But his impersonation is so believable that he is assigned a partner and sent out on a beat.
At this point Lawrence has some good material, and there are even some gems in the plot. For example, Lawrence uses his criminal past to shed new light on some puzzling crimes. His insights into the crimes are clever and satisfying and, God forgive me, would probably make a pretty make for a good TV series.
Still, on the whole, Blue Streak is nothing special. It’s a bit of lightweight fun, and nothing more.