Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
San Jose Mercury News:
It's meant to wear down and demoralize critics who are about to launch into a whole new year of worthless buddy comedies.
I wouldn't race out to see National Security, but it does give you exactly what you'd expect: yuks, explosions and brawling buddies rolling all over those overused L.A. freeways.
New York Times:
National Security lacks the wit to do anything new and instead recycles tired jokes and attitudes.
I laughed even though Lawrence has been doing the paranoid brother shtick since his sketchy, self-titled-sitcom days.
Its acrimonious message lies in the way it depicts black oversensitivity and an atmosphere of political correctness as the only obstacles to harmony.
[Zahn] looks perpetually on the verge of an aneurysm, relieved only by periodic slo-mo shootouts that set a new standard in post-Michael Bay preposterousness.
Globe and Mail:
Without losing its comic rhythm for a moment, it is also a withering spoof of black victimism and the corrupting effect of racial solidarity on the American legal system.
It's not really clear what's being stolen or why, but reason isn't as important to the screen writing team of Jay Scherick and David Ronn as getting to the next car chase.
If it does anything at all, National Security should demonstrate the diminishing returns of Lawrence trying to outswagger, outsass and outshoot Eddie Murphy.
Movies like National Security are indicative of how little creativity exists in most high-profile Hollywood offerings, and how little faith filmmakers have in the intelligence of multiplex audiences.
San Francisco Chronicle:
Combines a sour story with a repellent lead character, deadly comic schtick and tin-eared direction to produce 90 minutes of sheer, plodding mirthlessness.
The film is clearly an anti-racist warning, but Earl's silly, closed-minded anger is a major distraction from the comedy though most of the movie.
An action farce that's on the stale side of banter-heavy cop high jinks.
Despite some tasty contributions from Lawrence and Zahn, too much of National Security has the bland flavor of microwaved leftovers.
As the two cop manques overcome their dearth of common sense to save the day, the film achieves a comic playfulness.