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Bad Boys 2
2003 - R - 144 Mins.
Director: Michael Bay
Producer: Jerry Bruckheimer
Written By: Ron Shelton, Jerry Stahl, Cormac Wibberley, Marianne Wibberley
Starring: Will Smith Martin Lawrence Gabrielle Union Joe Pantoliano Jordi Molla Peter Stormare
Review by: Carl Langley

Weapons of mass destruction
Jerry Bruckheimer is the king of summer blockbuster films that usually feature mindless plots and loads of intense action. Occasionally, Bruckheimer hits the spot with the full engaging motion picture, such as the recent Pirates of the Caribbean and the Nicolas Cage/Sean Connery/Ed Harris smash The Rock; even these two fumed with the initial idea of profits though. We just all pray that if he continues to produce action films with incoherence, he will have the decency to avoid stink bombs such as Kangaroo Jack.

In 1995, Bruckheimer asked an unknown Michael Bay to helm Bad Boys, which was to feature two African-American, wisecracking television stars that had no leading role experience in films. The result was Will Smith and Martin Lawrence’s animated liaison as two Miami narcotic cops who blow stuff up with no decency for the public. The film was a success, largely in part because of the heavy banter from its stars in between shootouts and chases. Eight years later, Bay returns behind the camera with more of the same in Bad Boys II, but only longer - way, way longer.

Bad Boys II advertises an automatically negligent plot that supposedly stands in for the ultra loud and extremely vile motion picture it protrudes to be. Michael Bay’s sequel to the 1995 unabashed hit is ridiculously obnoxious, uninterrupted by the fusillades, explosions, decapitated corpses, and so-called zaniness of tag team buddies Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. Yet at a tiresome running length of 146 minutes, Bad Boys II still manages to stay parallel with entertainment level and makes one thankful it does not reek with putridity like the garbage that has been distributed in the recent weeks of summer.

Here is the crash-test dummy of a plot: Mike Lowery (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) are back, still full of vulgarity and still trigger-happy. They are out to halt Cuban drug lord, Johnny Tapia (Jordi Molla), from spreading ecstasy all over the city of Miami. When they realize Marcus’ sister Syd (Gabrielle Union), an undercover DEA agent laundering money for Tapia, is involved, they work even harder to bring him down. Meanwhile, Marcus is afraid to tell Mike that he is transferring and Mike is afraid to tell Marcus about his relationship with Syd.

Scripted by four different screenwriters (which should give all audience members some kind of subtle hint), including director Ron Shelton (Dark Blue, Hollywood Homicide), Cormac Wibberley, Marianne Wibberley and Jerry Stahl, Bad Boys II offers light character amusement admist its non-stop action. Marcus and their police chief (Joe Pantoliano) have been taking anger management courses and use feng shui to calm themselves. If one is looking for the badinage between Smith and Lawrence, they will find double dosage, as they exceed their dialogue in the first film by far, joking about everything ranging from the breasts of Will Smith’s mother to the harassing of a fifteen-year old kid who is taking Lawrence’s daughter out to the movies. Most of the comedy is rather out of place and does not possess the wacky charm of its predecessor. The attempts for laughs comes to its nadir in a camera store where Smith and Lawrence are coincidentally displayed on every television in the store while they proceed to talk about Lawrence’s inability to hold an erection because of a bullet wound in his buttocks.

Michael Bay must not believe in editing because his scenes are very sloppy and there are many that do not belong, which contributes to its running length. Bay uses the present style of camerawork, such as slow motion, swirling the camera three or four times around the scenery, following bullets through objects (including more than one forehead), and really fast cuts. As time consuming as it is, at least Bad Boys II never totally bores the audience because the activity never ceases. There might be a yawn or two, but that will come with the tiny dramatic endeavors that are squeezed in.

I enjoyed the original Bad Boys, largely in part because I enjoy watching Will Smith perform. I admit I enjoyed its sequel more than I expected because of the abundance of negative reviews it received. For all that its worth, Bad Boys II is another summer popcorn flick that will annoy some, but will satisfy those who enjoy this type of fashion.
Movie Guru Rating
Below Average.  Mediocre. Has substantial flaws, but is watchable. Below Average.  Mediocre. Has substantial flaws, but is watchable. Below Average.  Mediocre. Has substantial flaws, but is watchable.
  2.5 out of 5 stars

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