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Film / Blue Streak

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Blue Streak is a 1999 action comedy film directed by Les Mayfield and starring Martin Lawrence. The film is a remake of the 1965 British film The Big Job, although the original film is uncredited.

Miles Logan (Lawrence) is a reputed jewel thief who, along with some accomplices, successfully steals a $17 million diamond in Los Angeles. After an argument with one of the accomplices as to how the profits from the diamond should be divided among them, the police close in on them, and Logan is forced to hide the diamond in the air conditioning ducts of a construction site. He is then arrested. Two years later, Logan is released from prison whereupon he seeks to reclaim the diamond, which should still be there in the ducts. To his dismay, he discovers the construction site was that of a police station. In order to get in to retrieve the diamond, he is forced to pose as a cop. Hilarity Ensues.

Has nothing to do with Sonic The Hedgehog.

This film provides examples of:

  • Affably Evil: Logan's a well-known jewel thief, but he's also a funny, easy to work with fellow, and is very supportive of the people in his crew, like Tully and Eddie. Outside of bank robbing, he has very little interest in other crimes.
  • Ascended Extra: The role of Tully was greatly expanded after the crew was impressed with Dave Chapelle's performance.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Bad guy being fairly sympathetic Villain Protagonist, but still Miles gets away with the diamond in the end.
  • Becoming the Mask: Miles quickly begins to genuinely enjoy "working" as a police officer, to the point he shows remorse for his deception when attempting to eat a donut like typical cops would.
  • Benevolent Boss: Lieutenant Rizzo is a bit gruff, but a generally affable man who treats the cops working under him quite well.
  • Big Bad: Deacon plays with this trope. While he is Logan's main threat in regards to getting the diamond, and the relationship between them is very personal, at the end of the day, he's still just a thief: Once LaFleur gets his hands on him, his fate is in Logan's hands, and Logan only proves willing to kill him when Deacon tries to kill Logan.
  • Bittersweet Ending: More sweet than bitter. Carlson and Hardcastle learn that Logan's actually a jewel thief, and let Logan go as he's now on the other side of the border. But the trio part ways on good terms, Logan's got his diamond at long last, avenged Eddie against Deacon, and the last shot is of him walking into Mexico, looking forward to spending his ill-gotten, but hard-earned riches.
  • Buddy Cop Show: Blue Streak has all the elements of one on the surface, but with Logan being a jewel thief posing as a cop to retrieve his prized possession he left behind two years prior, it's a subversion of the genre.
  • By-the-Book Cop: Luke Wilson's character, though he befriends Logan and the latter rubs off on him a bit.
  • Cowboy Cop: Logan becomes this after turning into a cop.
  • Delivery Guy Infiltration: Prior to posing as a cop, Logan unsuccessfully attempts to get into the station by posing as a pizza delivery boy. Fortunately for Logan, since he managed to swipe the keycard from Luke Wilson's character with this guise, he was able to infiltrate the station as a cop days later.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: At one point, Logan sees a box of donuts and happily grabs one, only to put it back with the words "I'm not a cop" in a rather somber tone of voice.
  • Exact Words: Martin Lawrence's character, Miles Logan, is told to shoot his murderous ex-partner by a group of drug traffickers, in order to prove he's not a cop. Since he hates the guy, Miles just says "no problem" and shoots him in the arm. When told that he was supposed to kill him, Miles replies "Well you didn't say kill him, you just 'shoot him'!". When told to kill instead, it's then that Miles can't seem to do it.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Logan was booked, processed and sentenced to two years in prison through the LAPD - yet none of the cops even recognized him walking around the building all the time! Potentially justified as Logan was likely arrested on minor charges as they couldn't prove he actually stole the diamond and was a non-violent offender.
  • Fallen-on-Hard-Times Job: A criminal version appears when Miles is shocked to find out that Tulley, an experienced getaway driver, has been reduced to sticking up convenience stores.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Deacon tries to be personable when prying Uncle Lou for Logan's location, but quickly resorts to violence when lying to his face fails. Even before that, he's proven himself to be an entitled jerkwad by killing a fellow thief during a heist because $4.25 million isn't a big enough share for him.
  • Foil: Logan, aside from minor hiccups, is able to assimilate into the role of a cop with ease, despite being an ex-con, and having no prior experience of the work. Carlson's a trained officer who is yet painfully naive about the work, and too much of a stickler for the rules. Naturally, they become fast friends.
  • Gentleman Thief: Subverted with Logan. He steals for the thrill, has some strong standards, and is very charismatic, but his likeability is due to being a down to earth, everyday guy outside of that. He has very little class, is willing to get physical, and gets frustrated very easily, lacking the outward trappings of this archetype.
  • Gone Horribly Right: From Logan's perspective, this applies to his cover as Malone; he just wanted to be able to get into the station, get the diamond, and get out, but his fake record is so impressive that he ends up becoming the temporary head of the station's burglary division, thus hindering the amount of time he can spend looking for the diamond.
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Evil: Logan's an ex-con, but a fairly sympathetic Noble Demon, while the LAPD, despite being somewhat corrupt, are equally likeable, and just trying to do their job of keeping Los Angeles safe. Deacon, on the other hand, is a murderer and backstabber, and LaFleur is a ruthless drug dealer who tries to get Logan to shoot his mate.
  • Handshake Refusal: At one point, Logan is introduced to a high ranking police officer who extends his hand to shake. He had previously spied the man applying anti-itch ointment to his private parts without washing his hands afterwards, so Logan instead hugs him.
  • Hastily Hidden MacGuffin: Logan stuffed a stolen diamond into ductwork in a building under construction. The building turned out to be a police station, and the character had to pretend to be a cop to have a chance to search for the diamond. An accidental example happens later, when he drops the diamond into a stash of confiscated drugs. Thinking fast, he comes up with the plan to use the drugs in a sting operation, which will give him time to recover the rock.
  • Hellhole Prison: Logan gets Deacon to put down his gun and give him the diamond by pointing to all the Mexican police cars heading their way. In his words, "don't nobody want to go to jail in Mexico". Deacon agrees that being "someone's bitch" is better than being "someone's señorita".
  • Hollywood Law: Logan must have had an incredible lawyer to only serve two years in prison for the litany of crimes he could have been charged with, in addition to (at least visibly) not having any kind of supervised release or probationary period. Potentially justified as the defence could have argued that there was no proof he stole the diamond and not one of his accomplices (particularly when Deacon and Tulley got away), with his only obvious crimes being how he was in the building while it was under construction.
  • Honour Among Thieves: Logan plays it straight, and it's implied that Eddie did to, given his shock at Deacon's betrayal. Averted with Deacon, for obvious reasons, and Tully, who while ineffectual, still attempts to blackmail Logan years after the failed heist.
  • Idiot Ball: Rookie detective Carlson falls for a ploy cops probably hear all the time: The handcuffs being too tight. He gets body slammed by a thug for his trouble.
  • If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten!: At one point, Logan, still posing as a cop, is forced to pose as a drug dealer as part of a sting operation. The head of the ring asks him to shoot a man to prove he isn't a cop. Since he hates the other man, he obliges immediately, but shoots him in the arm. When told more specifically to kill him, he hesitates for a long time and would have failed the test if not for the other cops showing up.
    • The same scene also counts as a subversion of Shoot Your Mate, as Logan does not like the guy he's asked to kill.
  • Insurance Fraud: Logan and Carlson's first case is investigating a garage which has reported a lot of stolen tires. Logan finds the tires hidden on the premises, revealing the robbery was faked.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Logan's specialty. Two other detectives envy him, and one suggests using a phone book next time. Bonus points for one of the suspects being a friend of his.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: The LAPD and FBI clash over several hundred kilos of cocaine the former obtained during an arrest.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Years ago, Deacon betrayed Logan and got a friend of his killed. After tricking him into passing over the diamond, Logan double crosses Deacon and leaves him for the Mexican police, only to kill him when Deacon tries to pull a gun.
  • Let Off by the Detective: By the end of the film the real detectives have realized that Logan is a thief, but after getting to know him they decide to use the excuse that Logan is out of their jurisdiction (as Logan is in Mexico by that point), and they decide to look the other way and let Logan go his merry way instead of taking any actions that could result in him getting arrested, including calling Mexican police and telling them to detain Logan.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Deacon gets shot in the arm but doesn't seem bothered by it beyond the initial pain.
  • Manly Facial Hair: Detective Hardcastle has a prominent mustache and is a seasoned cop who contributes a lot to the final shootout and chase scene.
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: Logan mistakenly says in Spanish: "I have a cat in the pants." When called out on it, he tries to explain it as a macho thing.
  • Refuge in Audacity: The entire plot. Two years after being arrested and convicted Logan - a thief with a criminal record - infiltrates a police station as a detective. Not only does it work, he gets made lead detective!
  • Run for the Border: LaFleur and his men make a run for the Mexican border to escape pursuit. While most of the officers stop, Logan keeps going to get back his diamond. Logan gets away with it because the real officers realize he's a thief while he's on the other side of the border.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: During the opening heist scene, Tulley, the getaway driver, wastes no time taking off once Eddie falls off the roof and lands right next to his car.
  • Shadow Archetype: Adding to the It's Personal dynamic the two have going on, Deacon is arguably what Logan would be like if he became too ruthless and greedy in his line of work. Logan eventually kills Deacon, and it's implied that he intends to move on from his life of crime, content with the price the diamond will fetch him.
  • Skewed Priorities: When Logan points out a truck driver, Carlson spends several seconds describing the man's hair rather than noticing the large prison tattoo on his arm.
  • Springtime for Hitler: To his horror, Logan turns out to be a lot better at being a cop than he thought, making it harder and harder to get the desk job he wants to get the diamond back.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: Quite a few of these by Logan in order to maintain his cover as a cop. One notable example is Lieutenant Rizzo commenting on how Logan looks familiar. Presumably looking for a distraction, Logan asks Lizzo based on some trophies if he's a bowler. Rizzo concludes that Logan is a fellow bowler, and happy to have the out, Logan plays along.
  • Undercover Cop Reveal: Subverted. Logan's already pretending to be a cop, and when he's found out... he convinces his partner that he's undercover Internal Affairs. When the partner talks to a more senior detective, the detective claims that "Malone" is obviously FBI. When that fails, he claims to be a Federale (Mexican Fed), explaining that he's part-Mexican (despite not looking it).
  • Villain Protagonist: Downplayed with Logan, an otherwise good-natured jewel thief looking to get the diamond he stole and later hid inside a police station, by posing as an officer of the law. That said, he's a pretty likeable man all things considered, and he doesn't want to cause any trouble beyond getting the diamond he went to prison for. He eventually kills Deacon at the end, but A), it's Deacon, and B) Deacon shot first.
    • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Logan goes through a lot of crap to get the goddamn diamond, from going to jail for several years, finding out his ex has moved on after she learned he was a robber, to playing the role of a cop upon learning he hid the thing in a construction site for a police station. All of this is played for laughs. Though he subverts it, in that he does eventually succeed in his goals, rather than being doomed to failure.
  • White Bread and Black Brotha: Invoked and parodied. Logan poses as an undercover LAPD detective and works with the white and more straight-edged Detective Carson. Being a thief, Logan is more aware about the inner workings of criminals, which greatly impresses the more bureaucratic Carlson.