A sequel to 48 HRS. (1982) that reunites director Walter Hill with overzealous cop Nick Nolte and convict and reluctant ally Eddie Murphy in San Francisco, joining forces again to crack another case. The portraiture of macho biker lowlifes, the infernal atmospherics, and the violent action (with tons of shattered glass) all seem very characteristic of Hill, and it's a minor pleasure to see Murphy slightly subdued. What seems more problematic is the virtual exaltation of Dirty Harry vigilantism, the storm trooper mentality and behavior on Nolte's part that the film breezily takes for granted; if there's any irony about it, it's carefully designed to wash over the storm trooper types in the audience and not give offense to them—only to the rest of us. Larry Gross, who helped to script the original, collaborates here with John Fasano, Jeb Stuart, and Fred Braughton; the backup cast includes Brion James, Kevin Tighe, and Ed O'Ross.
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