National Security review

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When is Hollywood going to wake up to the fact that the words "new Martin Lawrence comedy" are about as appealing as a fart in a phone booth? In the same way that a bad joke never gets any funnier the more times you tell it, Lawrence's sub-Eddie Murphy routine is clearly never going to work.

This time around he's a wannabe cop named Earl who's thrown out of the academy for being too mouthy. Taking a job as a security guard, he teams up with ex-plod turned rent-a-cop Hank (Steve Zahn) to solve a series of warehouse robberies. The catch? Hank was suspended from the force just after Earl dishonestly accused him of giving him a Rodney King-style beating.

Some bright spark obviously thought this could be Police Academy meets 48 Hrs. But they were very, very wrong. The lack of laughs is one thing, but the film's insidious racism (which suggests that all black men are lying cheats, willing to exploit the system) is something else entirely. Absolutely criminal.

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