Stars: 3 of 5.
Running Time: 96 minutes.
Notable Cast or Crew: Burt Reynolds, Liza Minnelli, John P. Ryan (RUNAWAY TRAIN, CLASS OF 1999), James Remar (48 HRS., DEXTER, THE LONG RIDERS, THE COTTON CLUB), Bernie Casey (SHARKY'S MACHINE, IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS), Richard Masur (MR. BOOGEDY, LICENSE TO DRIVE), Dionne Warwick. Music by Jerry Goldsmith. Written by Dennis Shryack (HERO AND THE TERROR).
Tag-line: "Deadlier than Dirty Harry, faster than Cobra..." Why do we have to bring COBRA into this?
Best one-liner: "Merry Christmas!"
RENT-A-COP is so by-the-numbers, it's as if an Apple II-E were programmed to construct an 80's cop movie. It's chock full of maverick cops, snarky hookers, butterfingers rookies, stick-up-the-ass supervisors, merciless killers, evil dudes in mansions, and the buddy who you think is a buddy until you realize he's working for the bad guy. The cast is bursting at the seams with familiar faces: John P. Ryan (Dad in IT'S ALIVE),
John P. Ryan calls Burt Reynolds a loose cannon.
Richard Masur (Dad in LICENSE TO DRIVE and MR. BOOGEDY), Bernie Casey (U.N. Jefferson in REVENGE OF THE NERDS), and a very special appearance by Dionne Warwick...as a pimp! The music by Jerry Goldsmith is laughably epic, sweeping, and full of orchestral emotion: but this ain't GONE WITH THE WIND.
Burt prepares to deliver the one-liner, "Merry Christmas."
At several points, actors (including Burt) look straight into the camera (by accident?). Burt plays Burt; wearing macabre sweaters and butchering his banter (probably cause Dom's not around to smack). It's like a watered down SHARKY'S MACHINE.
Liza plays Liza, and clearly directed and costumed herself.
I guarantee you that the words "fabulous" and "honey" did not appear this much in the script. Same goes for all the Liza freestyle dancing. At one point she is expected to seriously deliver the line "I jumped on top of him and I DID WHAT I DO!"
"I DID WHAT I DO!"
James Remar (Ajax in THE WARRIORS, Harry Morgan on DEXTER) is kinda doing an 'evil Swayze' routine. We see his stone cold killer doin' his thing for half the movie, and then WHAM- out of nowhere he's doing a half-naked super-sweaty solo dance number! His character name is then revealed to be 'Dancer.' Even for an 80's movie, this is insane.
If you're a Remar fan, you may have to watch this video twelve thousand times.
Now for the kicker: Liza hunts for the killer in a dance club. A guy passes by and-SCHWINK- gooses her. Liza yells into her wire, "Jesus, I just got goosed by some guy dressed as Little Red Riding Hood?!" We cut to Burt on the other end of the line, smiling in secret satisfaction.
And there ya have it- incontrovertible evidence that Burt LOVES goosing. (See also: my review of STROKER ACE.) Three stars.