While Martin Lawrence's career has seen a steep decline in the last several years ("Big Momma's House 2", "Rebound"), I still make the claim that the actor had a period early on (see the underrated "Nothing to Lose") where Lawrence's high-energy comedy managed to sell even some of the lesser lines. "Blue Streak", which sees Lawrence at least working with a fun concept, did well enough to result in the similar "National Security", which came four years later but wasn't nearly as funny.
"Streak" sees Lawrence playing Miles Logan, a career thief who - as the film opens - is working with a team in order to try and nab a giant diamond. When fellow crook Deacon (Peter Greene) tries to take the rock for himself, the police are alerted and Miles is taken into custody - but not before hiding the diamond in one of the ventilation ducts of a half-built construction site.
When he gets out of prison, he heads to the building and finds that...it's now a police station. He manages to scam his way into the police station and, while unlikely, gets the rest of the police force to believe that he's an officer being transferred in. While it wasn't his intent, his experience on the other side of the law actually winds up working to his advantage when it comes to solving cases.
Miles is paired up with a naive cop (Luke Wilson), and while everything seems to be going along smoother than expected, it's not long before previous partners Tully (Dave Chappelle) and Deacon (Peter Greene) come back into the picture. While "Streak" doesn't hold up quite as well as I'd remembered it (there are still some laughs, but a fair amount of the gags seem too slapsticky), the picture still manages some good laughs thanks to a funny performance from Lawrence and an amusing little performance from Dave Chappelle. Wilson is, as is often the case, pretty bland in a supporting effort.
Although the gags can be a little uneven, director Les Mayfield keeps the picture going at a rapid pace, and stages a couple of above-average action moments (well, at least for an action/comedy like this.) It's above-average as time wasters go, and a reasonably good, mindless choice for a Sunday afternoon.
VIDEO: "Blue Streak" is presented by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment in 1.85:1 (1080p/AVC). While there was a fair amount to like about this transfer, there were also some flaws that were clearly visible. Sharpness and detail remained mostly above-average, as while some scenes looked pleasingly crisp and clear, other scenes could look mildly softer in comparison. Edge enhancement was seen in moderate amounts in several scenes, causing some irritation. Some light noise was also seen in some sequences, as well. Print flaws remained a relatively minor problem, as they consisted of only the occasional speck, mark and scratch. Colors looked warm and well-saturated, with no smearing or other faults. Flesh tones also remained natural, as well. This was not a top-notch transfer, but it remained above-average overall.
SOUND: The film's Dolby TrueHD 5.1 presentation isn't terribly out of the ordinary, with surrounds only occasionally fired up in order to deliver a few sound effects and reinforcement of the score, but minimal ambiance or other subtle details. Dialogue remained crisp and clear, while the rap/R & B songs on the soundtrack packed solid bass.
EXTRAS: HBO First Look: Inside and Undercover The usual "promotional" featurette, although at 22 minutes, this is more of a documentary. Still, although there are some interesting moments, this is one of those documentaries where a lot of the feature seems to be made up of scenes from the movie. The rest is interviews with the cast and crew, with a moment or two looking at the set at work. Not the best documentary, but certainly above the average HBO featurette.
Setting Up For The Score: Another 22 minute documentary, this one taking a little more in-depth look at the actually history of the production, as well as filming at work. I generally like "documentary" features like this rather than the promotional items like "Inside and Undercover". The interviews and interesting and the "behind-the-scenes" looks are better than the other featurette on this disc.
Music Videos: "Girl's Best Friend" by Jay-Z; "Criminal Mind", by Tyrese and "Damn(should have treated you right)" by So Plush.
Trailers are also included for "Hancock" and other titles from the studio.
Final Thoughts: "Blue Streak" didn't hold up as well as I'd remembered, but the film still does manage to get a few good laughs thanks to one of Lawrence's better performances. The Blu-Ray presentation didn't dazzle, but audio/video quality remained fine. Extras are the same as the DVD. Rent it.
The Film B-