Picks and Pans Review: Another Stakeout

updated 08/02/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/02/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Richard Dreyfuss, Emilio Estevez, Rosie O'Donnell

When it came out in 1987, the un-hyped Stakeout was a delightful surprise, a smart, funny movie about two bickering cops stuck with each other's company on a prolonged stakeout. Another Stakeout, its belated sequel, is another story. With the exception of a clever scene about a dinner party from hell, the plot here is both minimal and predictable. Dreyfuss and Estevez are once again undercover cops in Seattle, but this time out they have been paired up with O'Donnell, an assistant D.A. The trio are supposed to pose as a family (Dreyfuss as Dad, Estevez as his grown son and O'Donnell as his second wife) vacationing while keeping watch on an escaped federal witness. Allegedly, hilarity ensues as they bicker, spat and make up, just like a regular family. Where are the Louds when you need 'em?

Only O'Donnell, all brass leavened with sudden comic weeping spells, adds life to the proceedings. Estevez has too little to do, Dreyfuss too much. You can see him huffing and puffing, trying to carry the whole movie on his slight shoulders and collapsing under the strain. Madeleine Stowe, who was in the first movie, appears here as Dreyfuss' girlfriend, without billing. Which may be just as well, since she screeches sourly in every scene. John Badham, who stylishly directed the original Stakeout, handles the sequel as if this were just another episode of Starsky and Hutch; Arthur B. Rubinstein contributed an irritatingly clamorous, Starsky-ish soundtrack. (PG-13)

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