Owen Gleiberman
December 14, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Rookie

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
G
runtime
129 minutes
Wide Release Date
03/29/02
performer
Rachel Griffiths, Dennis Quaid, Brian Cox, Jay Hernandez
director
John Lee Hancock
distributor
Walt Disney Productions
author
Mike Rich
genre
Drama

We gave it a C+

This brutally hyperbolic cop thriller can’t seem to stay on track, and that’s what’s intermittently amusing about it. The Rookie is like a series of garish exploitation set pieces jammed into the shape of a buddy movie. As the veteran cop who specializes in catching auto thieves (hey, anything is better than the usual homicide expert), Clint Eastwood indulges his taste for lurid masochism. In one of the funniest scenes, he is tied up in a chair, and the villain’s gun moll (Sonia Braga) teases him with razor blades and then has her way with him. Charlie Sheen plays Eastwood’s younger partner, a poor little rich boy who risks his life on the police force because he feels guilty (or something). When Sheen slips over the edge and trashes a bar full of hooligan bikers, his performance suddenly comes to life; he should go psycho more often. As moviemaking goes, The Rookie is on the slovenly side. The plot makes almost no sense, and Eastwood directs in his usual toneless fashion. But in this case, the fact that you can’t always tell the intentional comedy from the unintentional isn’t necessarily a drawback. C+

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