|National Security (2003)
Starring: Martin Lawrence, Steve Zhan, Colm Feore
Director: Dennis Dugan
I've ragged on Hollywood when it churns out formulaic romantic comedies (see "Two Weeks Notice"), so it's only fair to point it out as well when it applies to the movies guys usually like. Here we have a couple of formulas wrapped into one film. First, no surprise, it's basically a vehicle for Martin Lawrence to run his schtick. They've also thrown in the cop/buddy formula as well.
Parts of the story are fairly clever. Lawrence plays Earl Montgomery, a wise-cracking security guard who really wants to be a cop. After he gets thrown out of the police academy, he has an encounter with Hank (Steve Zahn) that sets up the rest of the film. I won't ruin it for you, but it's a funny adaptation of the Rodney King video we've all seen on TV. The guys get caught up chasing some bad guys, and you can guess the rest.
Hank is a stereotypical tight-ass white boy, and Steve Zahn does a good job playing Hank as the straight man opposite Martin Lawrence's antics. Most of the humor revolves around the white/black contrast so there's nothing new here, though I have to give them some credit for not holding back. The jokes will either make you laugh or make you grimace a little.
Not surprisingly, your reaction to "National Security" will depend almost entirely on how much you like the humor of Martin Lawrence. If you're not really sure, I can't help you much, but there are probably enough laughs in here to justify the ticket price.