Overlong, sadistic and stale even by the conventions of the buddy pic genre, Clint Eastwood’s The Rookie is actually Directorty Harry 51/2 since Eastwood’s tough-as-nails cop Nick Pulovski could just as easily be named Harry Callahan, and his penchant for breaking in partners (and getting them killed) is a hold- over from Harry’s first three patrols.
This time, however, the troubles lie in partner Charlie Sheen, a rich kid working out childhood guilt and hostility against his parents by playing policeman. Pair pursues a stolen-car ring operated by ruthless thief Raul Julia and sweaty henchwoman Sonia Braga (in a nearly non-verbal role). Pulovski is taken hostage, and Sheen’s character has to find himself by, essentially, disregarding all conventional legal channels and destroying as much property as possible.
The normally brilliant Julia lapses into and out of a bad German accent, Braga has just a window-dressing bad-girl role, and Twin Peaks’ Lara Flynn Boyle is Sheen’s blandly drawn girlfriend. Eastwood the actor seems rightfully bored with the material, while Sheen continues to hammer away at his own tough-guy rep with only marginal success.