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Posts Tagged ‘Bad Boys 2’

From the Hootoo archive. Originally published 9th October 2003:

The year’s umpteenth overblown sequel arrives in the form of Bad Boys 2. Now I thought the first film was actually pretty indifferent, but clearly it did enough business to justify a follow-up… but eight years later? Does anyone still care any more?

Well, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Michael Bay clearly think so and their faith appears to have been justified as this movie has made over $130 million in the States alone. To which I can only respond: dearie, dearie me…

Miami cops Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) are still going around blowing things up. They are currently on the trail of the rather stereotyped Cuban drug baron Johnny Tapia (Jordi Molla). Some would say it was slightly hypocritical of big-shot Hollywood movie producers to go around demonising drug dealers like this, but not I. And, well, basically the cops and the pushers chase each other around for two and a half hours, the exceedingly thin story bulked out by some rather gory violence, mechanical and profane (not to mention faintly homoerotic) by-play between the two leads, and Bay’s ludicrous, intrusively flashy direction.

The characterisation that made the first film mildly distinctive – the contrast between Smith’s superfly playboy and Lawrence’s harassed family man – is nearly all discarded and in its place we get subplots about Smith having a bit of a thing for Lawrence’s little sister (Gabrielle Union, one of Hollywood’s finest purveyors of urban T&A), and Lawrence deciding to dissolve their partnership. The second one is arguably a mistake as it instantly recalls the Lethal Weapon movies, which this superficially resembles anyway.

To be fair to Bad Boys 2, it easily matches the standard of the last couple of Lethal Weapons, both in terms of action (the sheer scale of carnage is inevitably impressive) and humour, even if there’s a bit too much of Lawrence clowning around as Smith’s fall guy. The duo are certainly much more comfortable with comedy than drama, which is a shame as the jokes run out in the last half hour. At this point brain death threatens both movie and audience as proceedings descend to the level of risible cartoon, with the Miami PD invading Cuba single-handed.

Bad Boys 2 is fairly entertaining in a mindlessly slick and predictable way: it has no surprises or intelligence, but looks good and has some funny lines and moments. The teenagers in the row behind me loved it. But, to paraphrase Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon 3, I think I’m getting too old for this sort of thing.

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