2002 - PG-13 - 116 Mins.
|Director: Joel Schmacher
|Producer: Jerry Bruckheimer, Mike Stenson
|Written By: Jason Richman and Michael Browning
|Starring: Chris Rock, Anthony Hopkins, Peter Stormare, Kerry Washington
|Review by: Joe Rickey
The quick take on the storyline of the film is that Rock plays two brothers who are identical twins. One brother, Keith Pope, worked undercover for the CIA until he was unceremoniously murdered while working to foil a terrorist attack on US soil (yep, this is another terrorist-themed movie a week after The Sum of All Fears). In a knot after the unexpected death, fellow CIA agent Gaylord Oakes (Hopkins) has no choice but to transform twin brother Jake into a formidable agent because the arms dealers are expecting Keith and his physical appearance to appear at the upcoming meeting. The belief is that the nuclear device in question would be used to blow up part of Manhattan. Oakes is in for a surprise because Jake is the complete opposite of his serous and hardworking brother. Jake is a comedian and jokester who leads his superiors to question his dedication to a very important operation.
Direction by Joel Schumacher (Tigerland) is in the obligatory flashy and kinetic style of all Bruckheimer action films. It’s unfortunate that the film that he uses the jumpy style just isn’t that exciting for a supposed action film. Sure, the film has the occasional exciting chase scene with guns blazing for a few short minutes until the big bang finale in the tradition of Pearl Harbor and any other Bruckheimer production. The problem is that more often than not, the film lapses into prolonged periods of painful attempts at exposition. The film drags at these points because the story is any but original and the script by Jason Richman and Michael Browning is filled with lame attempts at comedy. These comedic attempts were no doubt thrown in for Rock to showcase his talents but they are so bad that they do anything but show Rock’s ample talent.
The acting is just okay when it could have been much better considering the talent. Chris Rock is at his comedic worst throughout when the film really isn’t very funny and shouldn’t have tried to be with terrorism as its subject. Hopkins, on the other hand, treats the film as a paycheck and therefore slums throughout the entire film. Half of the time he appears to be on the edge of falling asleep. These two actors work fine together considering their total opposite approaches to acting but there have been much better buddy duos.
Overall, Bad Company is surprisingly tame on the action and instead fills the time with sad attempts at comedy and dreadfully inept exposition. It’s only recommended for die-hard fans of Hopkins, Rock or people who must see every action movie released.