Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Overlooked Movies -- Stakeout

Stakeout is a buddy cop movie that I like a lot, partially but not entirely because Richard Dreyfuss is one of my favorite actors.  I've been a fan ever since American Graffiti, and while I never expected him to turn up in a movie like this, he does a terrific job.  So does Emilio Estevz, who plays his partner.  So does the entire cast, for that matter.

The plot, as in most buddy cop movies, is pretty simple.  A woman (Madeline Stowe) is living a quiet life until her former boyfriend (Aidan Quinn) breaks out of prison.  Dreyfuss and Estevez are one of two teams of cops assigned to stake out her house in case the boyfriend shows up.  The other team is made up of Forest Whitaker and Dan Lauria, and a lot of the comedy in the movie comes from the pranks the two teams play on each other to relieve the boredom of the stakeout.  Also, Dreyfuss and Estevez pass the time by trying to stump each other with movie lines.  There's a good joke in one of those.

Also relieving the boredom and adding to the complications is that Dreyfuss falls for Madeline Stowe.  As who wouldn't?  You can pretty much guess where this is heading.  The boyfriend does show up, and there's a drawn-out ending with plenty of action and shooting.  For that matter there's a good bit of action throughout, so the comedy is laced with a lot of violence.

This is yet another one of those movies that I liked a lot but that a good many other people didn't much care for.  So let the buyer beware.

9 comments:

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

We liked it a lot when we saw it too. Unfortunately - Hollywood being Hollywood - they couldn't resist making a sequel, with Rosie O'Donnell. It didn't work.

James Reasoner said...

I liked it, too. And I love AMERICAN GRAFITTI. I've liked Dreyfuss in most of the other things I've seen him in, although I also find him annoying at times, usually when he's miscast.

Deb said...

It will come as no surprise to anyone here that Richard Dreyfus is on the Deb's Secret Husbands list. Of course, I really want him to be an amalgam of the characters he played in American Graffiti, Jaws, and The Goodbye Girl. He excelled at cocky extroverts with thoughtful centers. Just my kinda guy!

Todd Mason said...

I fear I'm a little too much like his character in THE GOODBYE GIRL. Remarkable to find another woman who might actually find such a personality attractive (albeit in a film, attached to Dreyfus).

Don Coffin said...

My favorite Dreyfus movie is The Big Fix, which seems to be completely unavailable (unless it's on a streaming service somewhere). Stakeout is really good, too.

Bill Crider said...

He's good as Moses Wine, all right.

James Reasoner said...

THE BIG FIX is one of those movies where I thought he was miscast, but I liked it anyway. I really loved the book, though. One of my favorites from that era, and Simon never topped it or even came close.

Cap'n Bob said...

What, no love for The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz? He also had a tiny role in The Graduate.

Deb said...

And VALLEY OF THE DOLLS.