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Martin Lawrence has finally done it. He's produced a film that has it all: racism, sexism, fat-ism, age-ism and even some totally new 'isms'. On top of this NATIONAL SECURITY also celebrates gun violence with a gleeful abandon that verges on worship. It may be billed as an action-comedy, but it's really more of a gun-porn movie.
Lawrence plays Earl, a cocky Police cadet. When his rebellious behaviour gets him kicked out of the academy, Earl is forced to work as a lowly security guard at "National Security." Frustrated, Earl accuses police officer Hank Rafferty (Steve Zahn) of harassment. Hank is stripped of his badge and also ends up at National Security. Then this pair of overzealous bunglers stumble onto a sophisticated smuggling operation and police cover-up. Soon everyone wants them dead - though they may kill each other first.
This could have been a seriously funny film. The plot bursts with the possibility of glorious goof-ball comedy. Instead it descends into gratuitous racial slurs and tired slapstick. Lawrence occasionally hits the funny bone, but most of the time he's too busy being obnoxious to be amusing. Steve Zahn tries his heart out, but his emotional range is restricted to bulging with righteous anger.
Much more worrying is the emphasis on guns. At least 20 minutes of the film are devoted to orgiastic shoot-outs with lashings of heroic slow motion sequences. The film glories in weapons, making them look cool and fun. This might be forgivable in a trashy action film with a high age restriction, but in a comedy that any impressionable 13-year-old can watch, it is horribly out of place.
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