A Movie a Day #301: Keaton’s Cop (1990, directed by Bob Burge)

Mike Gable (Lee Majors) is the angriest cop in Galveston, famous for tossing people out of windows.  Jake (Don Rickles!) is Gable’s partner, who seems to be too old to still be on the force.  Gable’s best friend is Keaton (Abe Vigoda), a retired mobster who now lives in a nursery home.  When it becomes apparent that someone has put a hit out on Keaton, Gable and Jake are sent to investigate.  A shoot out at the nursery home leads to Jake’s death.  Another shoot out at a hotel leads to the death of several other cops.  Gable can either toss Keaton out a window or he can team up with him to solve the murders.  Imagine 48 Hours with Lee Majors replacing Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy stepping aside for Abe Vigoda.

In the style of both 48 Hours and Midnight Run, Keaton’s Cop tries to combine comedy with action but the comedy is too lame to be funny and the action is too brutal to be light-hearted.  For some reason, Don Rickles plays his role completely straight while Abe Vigoda mostly just looks happy to have the chance to play a leading role for once.  Lee Majors is believable as an angry cop, mostly because he appears to be pissed off about having to appear in Keaton’s Cop.  It can’t be easy to go from being the Six Million Dollar Man to a movie like this.

What would have improved Keaton’s Cop?  How about an appearance from the stars of Shattered If Your Kid’s On Drugs:

Right, Burt?

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