Bad Boys 2 (2003)
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Review Date: July 15, 2003
Director: Michael Bay
Writer: Ron Shelton, Jerry Stahl
Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer
Will Smith
Martin Lawrence
Gabrielle Union
Two Miami police officers, who don't particularly get along, must work together in order to snag an underground ring of drug-dealers who are bringing in more Ecstasy pills than anyone else in the United States. To reach their goal, the duo decide that bitching at each other, blowing up all kinds of shit and driving like maniacs through crowded streets is the best way to go. We follow and chuckle along or follow and frown along. You decide.
I'm not exactly sure why Michael Bay and co. decided that they needed almost two and a half hours to recount a half-assed story about a couple of wise-cracking cops attempting to resolve a "drug case" while battling each other at the same time, but for what it is, for what it's attempting to bring into your life by its very existence on our planet (it's a "popcorn movie" by total definition), BAD BOYS 2 provides just enough escapism laughs and action to recommend to anyone who isn't drooling for SEABISCUIT just yet. I actually had a pretty cool time through the first hour and a half of this film, chuckling at the moronic back-and-forths between the two leads, enjoying the overstylized camera tricks that Bay reserved for this vehicle of cheese and appreciating the hyper pace at which it was all logged. But after a while, after a few too many rehashed scenes and overused sayings ("We ride together. We die together. Bad boys for life"- better yet, shove it up your ass!), I began to wiggle in my seat and pray for a quick finish. The best thing about the film is that it brings back what many of us loved about the 80s "action flick movement" which was fun, explosions, gunfire, bodies, swearing and bombast all around. The film also reminded me of the original BEVERLY HILLS COP somewhat. Does it all start to feel a little repetitive after a while? Sure, but if wham-bam entertainment is what you're looking for (which many are, and I surely didn't mind on this very evening), this film includes a street shoot-out a la HEAT (although obviously not as memorable), a wicked car chase featuring about a billion cars flipping over and crashing headlong into others and more overall violence than any other summer movie so far. Its R-rating also sets it apart with plenty of swearing, lots of over-the-top gunplay, dead bodies being thrown off hearses (??) and even a little T&A for the kids.

Also, despite my own personal disinterest in both Martin Lawrence, who I used to think was quite funny before he started making two-bit shitty movies, and Will Smith, who doesn't seem to have the same "edge" as he did before he settled down, I enjoyed most of their inane banter here, and particularly loved the one scene in which the duo berate a 15-year old boy who has come to take Lawrence's daughter out on her first date. That scene is hilarious! The supporting cast isn't as impressive though, but not as all-out boring as some "action flicks". In this case, the Cuban "bad guy" (Jordi Molla) does a decent job of overacting his ass off, Peter Stormare follows suit as the prerequisite Russian nutball, while Joe Pantaliona, who has also been getting on my nerves of late, owns the screen as the epitome of all "movie police captains", chewing and chewing and chewing the boys up at every turn. Fun times. Dude, why don't you just fuckin' fire them and save yourself all the headaches? A couple of Cuban cops are also pretty funny. As for the directing, Bay goes all out with quick cuts, slo-mos, an extremely cool take on the whole "bullet-time" thang and plenty of high-tempo for everyone. I say all that, but note also how the film isn't necessarily about plot or character development or tight narrative. It's overlong, indulges in various tangents, features lots of obvious shock material and doesn't present us with the solution to world peace, but it agitated me out of my boredom, it decompressed some of my wired nerves and it made me laugh, made me cringe and made me enough of a fan of its exaggerated fun-time hysterics to recommend to any similar soul looking to enjoy a ham & cheese sandwich, packed with mustard, pepper and just enough sunshine to consider a cool summer treat. If you like your movies in "excess"...bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do when they come for you? Note: I loved ARMADEGGON!
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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