Metro (1997 film)

Metro is a 1997 American action-comedy film starring Eddie Murphy, Michael Rapaport, Michael Wincott, and Art Evans. It is directed by Thomas Carter, and produced by Roger Birnbaum. The plot follows Scott Roper (Murphy), a hostage negotiator and inspector for the San Francisco Police Department who seeks revenge against a psychotic jewel thief, Michael Korda (Wincott), who murdered Roper's best friend, Lt. Sam Baffert (Evans).

Metro movie poster
Directed byThomas Carter
Produced byRoger Birnbaum
Written byRandy Feldman
Music bySteve Porcaro
James Newton Howard[1]
CinematographyFred Murphy
Edited byPeter E. Berger
John Wright
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures
Release date
  • January 17, 1997 (1997-01-17)
Running time
117 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$55 million
Box office$32 million

Released on January 17, 1997 in the United States, Metro grossed $32,000,301 in the domestic market, which failed to bring back its $55,000,000 budget.


SFPD Inspector Scott Roper (Eddie Murphy) is the best hostage negotiator in his department. He is called in to deal with a bank robber, Earl (Donal Logue), demanding a getaway vehicle and police escort. He manages to defuse the situation, shooting Earl non-fatally in the shoulder and rescuing his 17 hostages.

That night, Scott accompanies his friend and former partner Sam Baffert (Art Evans) to the apartment of Michael Korda (Michael Wincott), a jewel thief involved in Baffert's investigation. When Sam questions Korda about his involvement, Korda stabs him to death and leaves his corpse inside an elevator for Scott to find. Despite demanding to go after Korda, Captain Frank Solis (Denis Arndt) refuses to let him take the case due to the probable conflict-of-interest. Scott resolves to bring Korda to justice, but in the meanwhile must adjust to his new partner, SWAT sharpshooter Kevin McCall (Michael Rapaport).

Scott and Kevin are called to a hostage situation at a downtown jewelry store, with Korda as the hostage taker. When Scott and Korda see each other, the latter grabs a hostage and makes a getaway in a truck. Scott and Kevin use Solis' car to pursue him. Korda wrecks the truck, and boards a cable car, shooting the operator. Scott and Korda manage to stop the cable car, and chase Korda into a parking garage, where they manage to apprehend him.

During visitation at the jail with his cousin Clarence Teal (Paul Ben-Victor), Korda orders Teal to kill Ronnie (Carmen Ejogo), Scott's girlfriend, as a way to seek revenge on Scott. Teal attacks Ronnie at her apartment, but Scott intervenes and chases Teal down the fire escape, where the latter is struck and killed by a passing car. An angry Scott visits Korda in jail and warns him to stay away from Ronnie, showing him an autopsy picture of Teal, which enrages Korda.

The next morning, Korda escapes from the jail and kidnaps Ronnie, leading Scott and Kevin into a confrontation at an abandoned shipyard. Korda threatens to kill Ronnie by decapitating her on the cutting machine she is pinned to if Scott doesn't follow his instructions. Korda charges toward Scott in a sports car, but is shot from a vantage point by Kevin, causing him to swerve and crash through the warehouse entrance. Scott frees Ronnie, while Kevin engages Korda in a shootout where the former is shot in the abdomen. Korda tries to escape in Scott's truck, but Scott fights for control of it and leaps out of the way as Korda rams into a stack of explosive barrels and is killed in a massive explosion.

The movie ends with Scott and Ronnie relaxing on vacation at a Tahitian beach resort.




The movie received generally negative reviews from critics who felt that Murphy had done the film many times previously. It has 15% on Rotten Tomatoes, despite Roger Ebert giving the film a favorable review; he said "[t]he big action scenes are cleverly staged and Eddie Murphy is back on his game again, with a high-energy performance and crisp dialogue."[2] A negative review came from Stephen Holden of The New York Times, who called the film "aimless" and stated that "[t]he vehicular pirouettes and ski jumps are so exaggerated that they correspond neither to the urban geography nor to the laws of physics. And the jiggling camera can't blur the careless mechanical stitching in a sequence that tries to make up for in length what it lacks in inventiveness. After all, when you've seen one spinning car, haven't you seen them all? And hasn't this demolition derby been staged several times before on the same streets with infinitely more pizazz and zest for destruction?"[3] Michael Wilmington agreed, saying "If it weren't for all the jokes [...] the movie might be unintentionally funny," and that "For most of the people who made "Metro," shamelessness is probably a virtue, like good muscle tone. At the end, writer Feldman has actually dreamed up a variation on the old silent movie chestnut, where the mustache-twirling villain has the heroine tied to a sawmill plank. I'm not even sure this scene is intended humorously; the actors and director all milk it dry. And, except for Murphy's rapid-fire badinage, "Metro" has the kind of writing that suggests a mind filled with heroines tied to sawmill planks."[4]

Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.[5]

Box office

The movie debuted with $9.3 million.[6] Metro eventually brought in $32,000,301 domestically, not recovering it's $55 million budget.[7]


  1. " - Metro". Retrieved 2018-03-13.
  2. "Metro". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  3. "Ignoring Physics and Geography For Spills". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  4. "Eddie Murphy Wisecracks Through `Metro'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  5. "CinemaScore".
  6. "Beverly Hills Ninja Edges 'Metro' to Top Box Office". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  7. "Metro (1997)-Box Office Mojo". Retrieved March 22, 2015.
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