I have to admit (and I certainly dont want to) Bad Boys 2' almost had me. At about the 45 minute mark, I was leaning heavily toward a rating of 3, perhaps even 3.5 stars (out of 5). It was decidedly stupid, but Id laughed a few times, and some of the action scenes were pretty slick. And really, how high is this movie aiming anyway? If things move along well, there is some semblance of a story, Michael Bays ludicrous camerabatics dont make you too dizzy, and you laugh occasionally, youre doing pretty well. What I didnt realize at the time was that there was now about twenty minutes shy of two hours left of the bloody thing.
Recommend this product?
What might have been a simple enough guilty pleasure action-comedy, quickly became a burdensome fiasco of insulting ego trip. If theres anything you know for sure after suffering through this outrageously long epic, its that Michael Bay couldnt be convinced that you could be any more stupid than you are already, and that he thinks it is possible to actually do something interesting with this movie. Either would be enough to sink the films possibilities, but both together renders it devoid of any conceivable merit.
The titular Bad Boys are Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. Martins character is having some doubts about remaining teamed up with Wills character, because he thinks hes needlessly violent ala Lethal Weapon. Martins quest for less violence and stress leads to many a gag about therapy. The plot for this outing is that Johnny Tapia, a drug lord in Miami.... I was going to say something that he does in the movie, but he doesnt exactly do anything, he just sort of drug lords. The Boys become involved in his dealings twice. Once, when they learn about a shipment of Ecstasy which we eventually learn is Tapias, and again when Martins sister, working the case from a different angle, is posing as a money launderer to infiltrate Tapias narcotic ring. We also throw in a sub-plot involving Wills relationship with Martins sister, and the difficulties of telling Martin about it.
Thats really all weve got, and despite the two hour and twenty minute runtime, its the exact same plot as every other movie about cops and a drug lord. The cops get information from informant, which leads to a shoot out with the lower-rung dealer, which leads to a flimsy progression to the kingpin. Throw in a police chief (or their boss, or whoever) who yells at them at a lot, and you cant distinguish the thing from hundreds of others.
But there are things you dont have in those other movies of course. Theres the insane camerabatics Michael Bay is notorious for, that are perhaps cute at first, but never go away. No matter how much you may think it would be a good idea, theres a very good reason roller-coaster rides arent an hour long. Theres the inane banter between Will and Martin when the subject of their continued partnership comes up, which locks the brakes on the movies pace several times throughout. Worst of all, its a gag that never rings true, because Will, unlike the character in Lethal Weapon, isnt doing especially crazy things, hes mainly just shooting at people who are shooting at him, and unless this is a new form of Catch-22, that seems fairly sane behavior, and moreover just the sort of thing a partner might encourage.
The real recipe for this movie is a good helping of Beverly Hills Cop, and a dash of Lethal Weapon, and its all drowned in a sauce of the most vile, simplistic garbage that is spawned of a group of drunk rednecks playing Wouldnt it be cool if...? Most of the humor is criminally reminiscent of the general overtones of the Beverly Hills Cop movies. The scene where a befuddled potential suitor is met with Martin and Will acting crazy just screams of Eddie Murphy. Lethal Weapon Ive gone over already, and the rest..., the rest is just ludicrous. Ecstacy is a dream drug for a lot more people than just those that use it, or want to. Its a dream drug for money-grubbing filmmakers that just want a great excuse for a scene with a nightclub where half-naked women are blitzed on sex drug. We want a movie about a drug dealer, but the scene of the zombified heroin addicts isnt going to get any underage teens to sneak into the theater. This, by the way, is why drug dealers have movie-historically owned topless bars (or similar) as their front.
Shift gears to the many chase scenes and shootouts in store for you, and its more of the same. What is not at all bad action for a while, is eventually boring and finally displaces our ability to suspend disbelief. However bad it might be in LA, there are only so many rounds of automatic-rifle fire that can be traded between cops and robbers (and only so long it can go on) before a helicopter shows up with a someodd millimeter canon and just wastes everyone. Of course, I have no idea the exact number of rounds that might be at issue there, but Im guessing its somewhere slightly shy of a day in the life of the Vietnam War. Not to be put off by my raised eyebrows and yawns, the movie conveniently takes its story to Cuba, where the Bad Boys will now be up against the Cuban military. Hows that for a save?
So, there was a time when I was actually enjoying myself a bit. That was the point where another director might have just kept zipping along, rushing headlong for the end before the audience had too much time to think about anything, and tried to keep them laughing along the way. The main thing I recall about Bad Boys 2' was that it just kept not ending at me.
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