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Run Away From This Typical Chase Movie

Ah, San Francisco! Home of sourdough bread, the Golden Gate Bridge, great chocolate and idiotic action films.

“Metro,” starring Eddie Murphy, goes last year’s “The Rock” one better by eliminating plot altogether. “Metro” simply involves good-guy Murphy in a long chase after bad-guy Michael Wincott and, because we’re in San Francisco, you know what that means - autos levitating on hilly streets, smashed-up cable cars and a quick trip through Chinatown.

The chase halts long enough for Murphy to join his sometime girlfriend (newcomer Carmen Ejogo) in romantic scenes that are so-o-o-o not interesting: “I want to be part of your world,” “I needed you and you weren’t there,” yadda yadda yadda. Ejogo’s role continues Murphy’s perfect streak of nearly two dozen movies, none of which has an interesting female role.

Because it has no plot, “Metro” has no narrative momentum - it feels like three 45-minute episodes of some tired cop show strung together. In an effort to disguise that, director Thomas Carter resorts to moronic tricks that had a local preview audience laughing derisively at the screen: the music that makes us think something awful is about to happen, the guy who sends his girlfriend into her apartment alone even though he knows the maniac who is after her has already successfully broken in once, and the supposedly brilliant cop who loses his gun not once, but twice, forcing him into hand-to-hand combat.

“Metro” moves from merely dumb to offensive in a scene in which Wincott uses the n-word, just to make us hate him even more. The best that can be said for the movie is that Murphy is likable enough, even though his character is no different from the guys he played in “Beverly Hills Cop” and “48 Hrs,” which were much better films.

xxxx “Metro” Locations: East Sprague, Lyons and Coeur d’Alene cinemas Credits: Directed by Thomas Carter, starring Eddie Murphy, Michael Rapaport, Michael Wincott, Carmen Ejogo, Denis Arndt, Art Evans, Donal Logue Running time: 1:57 Rating: R