• Publication date: January 20, 2010

A Love-Hate Relationship Two Failed Cops Unite to Redeem Themselves

�National Security� (2003) features stand up comedian and actor Martin Lawrence, star of his highly successful self-titled 90s sitcom and numerous films, such as �Bad Boys� (1995), �Blue Streak� (1999), and �Big Momma�s House� (2000).

�National Security� (2003) features stand up comedian and actor Martin Lawrence, star of his highly successful self-titled 90s sitcom and numerous films, such as �Bad Boys� (1995), �Blue Streak� (1999), and �Big Momma�s House� (2000). Like in �Bad Boys� alongside Will Smith, Lawrence depicts a renegade, comedic crime fighter with an antagonizing sidekick: Hank Rafferty (Steve Zahn). Filmmaker Dennis Dugan, whose resume includes comedy blockbusters like �Problem Child� (1990), �Saving Silverman� (2001), and �Big Daddy� (1999) occupies the director�s chair for this picture, ensuring an hour and a half of laugh out loud entertainment.

Earl Montgomery is an aspiring African-American member of the LAPD undergoing police academy training. Poised for success, he begins his schooling on a positive note, impressing his instructors. However things hit a snag when during shooting practice, Earl purposely neglects to shoot one of four armed cardboard perpetrators. Earl claims that the missed target, a black man depicted with a gun, was only defending himself against the other three, presumably racist white men. Still this error is forgiven and the hopeful cadet continues his training. Earl�s dreams come to an abrupt stop during a driving examination, where he jumps a police car through a building and eventually into barrels of gas, causing the car to burst into flames. Needless to say his superiors were not impressed, and he was dismissed from the academy.

Here enters Hank Rafferty, a white police officer casually patrolling a parking lot. Hank notices Earl attempting to reach inside a vehicle�s window and retrieve its keys. Unaware that Earl has locked himself out of the car, Hank approaches the failed student assuming that he is breaking into the Camaro. The two get into an altercation and Hank begins to arrest Montgomery. While Hank attempts to arrest the alleged car thief, Earl informs Hank that he is allergic to bees and asks him to swat a nearby bumblebee with his nightstick. Unfortunately, from afar some civilians witness Hank brandishing his weapon incredibly close to Earl, and assume that Montgomery is a victim of police brutality. The negative publicity from this mayhem costs Hank his job, and the criminal case filed against him earns Hank a six-month prison stay.

Once released Hank seeks employment as a security guard. Coincidently his coworker is none other than Earl � the man who destroyed his life. While attempting to court a lady friend, Earl hears gunshots fired and runs to investigate; he finds Hank held captive by Nash (Eric Roberts) and risks his life to save his former foe. Both attempt to catch the criminals, but their quest ends prematurely when they are pulled over by the LAPD. At the police station Earl and Hank explain what happened and request permission to pursue the case on their own; the police agree and the ebony and ivory team are granted one last chance to prove their crime fighting ability. Will they succeed, or wreck any chances of returning to law enforcement?

�National Security� is rated PG-13 for violence, language, and some sensuality. Its runtime is 88 minutes.