Bad Boys 2

6 out of 10


Flashy Buddy Cop Movie

When you see the icon of the desert tree being struck by lightning, you know what to expect, for this is a flick by Producer Jerry Bruckheimer. With involvement in films like "Gone in 60 Seconds", he has bought a certain brilliance in cinematography and a flashy style to car chases, accidents and exploding buildings as recognisable as John Woo`s trademark of gunmen firing off as they leap through the air.

A fine piece of deconstructionism, "Bad Boys 2" is closely reminiscent of "Miami Vice", whose production costs for two weekly episodes used to exceed the yearly budget for the real life Miami Vice Squad. Two buddy cops, Mike Lowrey (played by Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (played by Martin Lawrence) are out to bring down the usual scruffy Psycho gang boss, (in this film) being Hector "Johnny" Tapia who is trying to expand his illicit narcotics trade in Ecstacy by taking over the Russian Mafia`s undergound night clubs where it is sold to bopping teens. To complicate matters, however, Marcus`s sister, Syd, who is also Mike`s girlfriend, is also working on the case as an undercover agent for the DEA. Coincidence? Rather, and this film requires a substantial side order of it to justify not only the plot, but much of the stunt action, pushing our suspension of disbelief to the brink.

And hence, the film develops on two lines. Firstly, Mr Bruckheimer provides us with more car crashes in 90 minutes than you would see in a lifetime of watching "Cops" and bloody shoot outs that are as close to a "Saving Private Ryan" war flick without involving the actual military as it is possible. Secondly, allowing the audience to rest their shattered nerves, in the humour interspersed between the action. Some of this is truly entertaining with the demolition of the swimming pool by the dog being worthy of a Laurel & Hardy pic of the 1930`s, but much of it depends on grossing out the battered audience. Furthermore, the performances are clearly uneven, with Will Smith clearly appearing always as if he is better than this type of flick and Martin Lawrence looking as if he is in over his head and shouldn`t even be there.

Curiously, the film gives the impression as if the second half was poorly and urgently rewritten to give some zap to the end with numerous, well developed characters who are just abruptly written out. Peter Stormare, who created the much loved Russian cosmonaut in "Armageddon", returns here as a superb Alexei, the Russian mob boss, yet bizarrely, is shot under freak circumstances and alone, a ludicrous death for someone who would surely either have had his own mobster army of ex-KGB henchmen or have been long dead anyway. Similarly, Tapia`s daughter and mother spend a certain amount on screen being developed, but why, I have no idea as they are both suddenly out the movie without ever having performed any function.

It is a rather more sad irony about the end of the film though. Whilst it supposed to be set in dirt poor Communist Cuba, it was actually filmed in the US administered territory of Puerto Rica, which alone would allow an interesting and lengthy commentary.

And finally, I feel compelled to mention the single worst, most trivial and useless part to play in a movie since Hollywood was apple orchard. The female corpse in the morgue you see is not a dummy like the others Mike and Marcus poke around with, it`s an actual actress called Jessica Karr!

So, if you want some designer violence, So, if you want some designer violence, some gross out humour and some brilliant with no new ideas, switch your brain off and see "Bad Boys 2"

Designer violence and gross out humour

Film Critic: Robert L Thompsett