EMPIRE CLASSIC SCENE
“It’s showtime, okay?”
Setting the Scene When it came to casting the small but juicy role of inspector Douglas todd, the superior of Detroit lawman Axel Foley (eddie Murphy), director Martin Brest went with gil hill, an actual ex-detective and veteran of the Detroit homicide division. it was a smart move. every scene between hill and Murphy crackles with hilarious energy, especially this first encounter following a disastrous attempt at a bust by Foley. hill sadly died this year, but his legacy as cinema’s greatest angry police chief lives on.
INT. LOCKER ROOM — DETROIT POLICE HEADQUARTERS — DAY
Axel is being warned by fellow cop Jeffrey (Paul Reiser) that his boss is on the warpath. Suddenly, the last voice Foley wants to hear rings out.
Inspector Todd (O.S.): IS THAT FUCKIN’ FOLEY IN HERE?
Jeffrey: Alright, there’s Todd. It’s showtime, okay?
Inspector Todd storms right up to Axel.
Axel: Hey, boss, I know what you’re going to say, but...
Inspector Todd (interrupting): You mind telling me where the fuck you come off going undercover without authorisation from me? What the fuck is this all about? You wanna play some fucking bullshit cowboy cop, go do it in somebody else’s precinct.
Axel: Don’t you want to hear my side of the story?
Inspector Todd: What’s your fucking side of the story?
Axel (after a long beat): Let’s hear your side of the story.
Inspector Todd: Hey, Axel, I’m not taking any more of this shit from you. You know how much this little stunt of yours is going to cost this city?
Axel: I don’t think cost is the issue here, sir. I think the issue should be my blatant disregard for proper procedure.
Inspector Todd: You damn right, wiseass! The Mayor called the Chief. The Chief called the Deputy Chief. The Deputy Chief just chewed my ass off. You see I don’t have any bit of it left, don’t you? Where the fuck did you get a truckload of cigarettes from anyway?
Axel: From the Dearborn hijack.
Inspector Todd: From the Dearborn hijack? That fucking bust went down last week. That truck is supposed to be in the damn pound!
Jeffrey (whispering to Axel): I tried to tell you.
Inspector Todd: Jeffrey, this is none of your fucking business!
Jeffrey: This is not my locker...
Inspector Todd (softening): Listen, Axel. No more of these set-ups, you understand? You’re a good cop and you’ve got great potential. But you don’t know every fucking thing. And I’m tired of taking the heat for your ass. One more time, you’re out on the street. Do you understand me?
Axel: But, boss, let me tell you...
Inspector Todd: Do you understand me?
Axel: Yeah, I understand.
The inspector starts to walk away.
Axel: Boss, the chief ain’t chewed it all off. You still got a little ass there.
Inspector Todd: Don’t fuck with me, Axel. Not now. Go on. Go home.