September 09, 1996 12:00 PM

Damon Wayans, Adam Sandler

When I was 16, I reveled in Saturday matinees with strong heroes, unambiguous morals and the sharp, Dolby-enhanced crunch of ripping cartilage. This funny, bloody-action comedy delivers all those familiar, teen-friendly attributes. Yet for some reason, the filmmakers have misguidedly grafted ’90s sensitivity onto characters who are otherwise perfectly lovable Neanderthals.

To catch an evil drug czar, a Los Angeles undercover cop (Wayans) travels to an unnamed city to befriend—and then arrest—one of the drug lord’s trusted henchmen (Sandler). Problem is, the cop ends up as the likable crook’s best friend. Pursued by the drug lord, the two take refuge in a gay guest house (the only accommodation within miles, mind you), where Sandler’s hilarious send-up of Whitney Houston seems destined for Comedy Central. Throughout, the pals feel the need to reaffirm their buddydom: “Hey, dude, I’ve got your back.” I wasn’t entirely transported back to adolescence, but I wasn’t thinking about my 401(k) either. (R)

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