A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
In formula action pictures, there are always setup scenes early in the movie that trigger payoff scenes later on. "Metro'' is a movie so preoccupied with its chases, stunts and special effects that it never gets around to the payoffs. That's not a criticism, just an observation. Leave out the setups *and* the payoffs, and you'd have wall-to-wall action, which is the direction I suspect we're heading in.
"Metro'' stars Eddie Murphy in a muscular, energetic performance as Roper, a star hostage negotiator for the San Francisco Police Department. He's the guy who walks unarmed into the bank where the robber is holding a gun to a hostage's head and gets the guy talking. Murphy has always been a good talker, and he has fun with some of this dialogue. Taking a bag of doughnuts to a manic madman, Roper explains, "I'm duty bound under my oath as a negotiator to take out this wounded man.'' And he does.
This opening scene of course has nothing to do with the rest of the movie. Action movies always start in the middle of a crisis, establish the hero, and then move into the story. Usually the early crisis is followed by a quiet domestic scene (Roper meets his former girlfriend) and the introduction of the police chief, etc., before another crisis develops. Oh, and the cop has to meet his New Partner.
"Metro'' makes all the early stops, which makes it interesting that it never doubles back to refer to them again. For example: 1. Roper gets a new partner named McCall (Michael Rapaport) who is a marathon runner, can lip-read, is a sharpshooter, etc., but has never done hostage negotiations before. The formula calls for the veteran to resent the kid and make it hard for him. Not here. Roper asks his chief for a raise, gets it and takes the kid to the racetrack.