||SHOWTIME deftly combines clever satire and explosive action, taking the buddy cop movie in a new direction. Robert De Niro stars as Mitch Preston, a no-nonsense detective who makes headlines when he shoots the television camera right out of the hands of a meddlesome photographer during a bust. The department is sued for millions, but a slick producer (Rene Russo) drops the suit to force Mitch to star on the network's new reality series. Trey Sellars (Eddie Murphy), a struggling actor and incompetent patrolman, bamboozles his way into a plum role as Mitch's partner. Mitch is a better cop, but Trey knows a lot more about how to be a TV star. He even comes up with the show's catchphrase: "It's SHOWTIME!" In the film's funniest setpiece, William Shatner is brought in to teach Mitch and Trey how to master important TV cop procedures, like jumping on the hood of a car. Things get more serious as the celebrity cops track down a crazed criminal armed with a powerful new weapon. Director Tom Dey (SHANGHAI NOON) keeps things moving, and laces the action with reflexive humor. Murphy is in fine comic form, and has terrific chemistry with De Niro.