Bad Boys 2 (2003), Run-time 147mins, Cert 15.

Director - Michael Bay.

Writers - Marianne Wibberley, Cormac Wibberley, Ron Shelton & Jerry Stahl.

Starring - Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Jordi Molla, Gabrielle Union, Peter Stormare, Theresa Randle & Joe Pantoliano.

 

Premise - Miami TNT (Tactical Narcotics Team) cops Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) and Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) are trailing a huge import of ecstasy into the US by drug baron Johnny Tapia (Jordi Molla). Things are complicated by Marcus' sister Syd (Gabrielle Union) being in town working undercover for the DEA on the same case.

I liked Bad Boys a lot. The critics hated it, but I loved the mix of comedy and action. It harkened back to the 80ís when such violent, funny buddy cop films were being churned out seemingly every other week. It took 8 years to re-assemble the Bad Boys team for the sequel and if part 2 isnít quite up to the standard of the first film then it does still hold enough lure for fans to get their kicks.

At 147 minutes Bad Boys 2 isnít the shortest film from recent memory. But, to give the film credit it is never boring. Michael Bay ensures that there is always something for the eyes to do with his camera roaming around seemingly of its own free will. During action scenes the camera ducks and weaves through the action. In one bravado scene the camera swirls dizzyingly around the action through walls and glass doors.

Bay took a lot of flack after Pearl Harbour, but few can discount the mans chops when it comes to directing action. Car chases (times 3), shoot outs (too many to remember) and Mexican standoffs proliferate the film and all are exhilarating and get the blood pumping. Each scene looks great as bay uses filters, fast cuts, slow-motion and bullet time to make the action leap off the screen. Bay also doesnít hold back with the blood and guts. This is a very violent film with some pretty nasty scenes.

One of the main reasons that I loved the first film so much was the chemistry between Smith and Lawrence. The witty banter and sly digs that they indulged in lifted the film above your average buddy cop action film for me. Itís a bit of a disappointment then that in the sequel something seems to be a little off. Sure, they still swap the banter and barbs, but little of the dialogue is as memorable as the first film and some of it just plain isnít funny.

It may have something to do with the angle that the Martin Lawrence character is coming from. He is tired of his rage so he is seeing a new age therapist. I really didnít care for this idea and the character of Marcus suffered and, through that, the duo suffered. Luckily the new age nonsense seems to be ditched about halfway through and itís pretty much business as usual after that.

In-fact the films funniest scene may be better than anything from the first film. Marcusí daughter is going on her first date so he and Mike proceed to grill the prospective suitor on the doorstep. Itís crass, offensive and below the belt stuff, but itís funny as hell (Note: this is the scene that Roger Ebert described as ďuglyĒ and ďdistastefulĒ).

Films like this are all about the action and the comedy, the quality of acting really isnít a concern. That said Will smith is a competent actor and itís refreshing to see him in an adult movie mixing it up and swearing. I really donít care much for Martin Lawrence in his other films, but it seems that Smith brings the best out in him. Joey Pants is back as their captain and fits the standard movie police captain role nicely (although he is also partaking in the new age therapy).

Gabrielle Union plays Marcusí sister Syd and is both easy on the eye and a fair enough actress. Nice to see Peter Stormare as a Russian mobster, although the film seems to forget about him halfway through and he isnít seen again until a waste of a scene later in the film. Henry Rollins also disappears after an important role early in the film. The two Cuban cops from the first film have been replaced by a different pair of Cuban cops. Not sure why they were replaced, but they do a decent job at any rate.

One thing I really didnít care for was Jordi Molla as the main bad guy. He is little more than low rent Tony Montana with all the clichťs you would expect from such a character. His gang of goons is also lacking when compared to the group from the first film. They are all faceless with no personality.

Rap star Dr Dre provides much of the films score and itís a good effort from him (in what is his first stab at scoring a movie). The driving beats are perfect for the films many action scenes. The rest of the films music is made up of many of raps current big names 50 Cent, Puff Daddy, Snoop Dog and Jay-Z amongst others.

Whilst Bad Boys 2 is not quite as good as the first film, there is enough action, comedy, fine female forms and style here to satisfy both fans of the original film and anybody on the look out for a no-brain action film to kick back and relax to.

 

7/10.

Poster Quote Ė Good Boys.

If you enjoyed Bad Boys 2 then check out Ė Bad Boys, xXx, 2 Fast 2 Furious.

 

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