BAD BOYS II

on

2003

DIRECTOR: Michael Bay

Contains Spoilers!

“What ya gonna do… this time?”

Whilst the first outing of the Bad Boys shocked me by how good it actually was, this one left me a little disappointed. I was hardly expecting an Oscar winning deal here, as this was always going to be a Michael Bay adrenalin rush, but for a film with a two and a half hour running time, the adrenalin came in too short a bursts.

Bad Boys was Bay’s first film and was but a taster of his over the top film making, which first arrives in The Rock a year afterwards, but this made eight years later was obviously going to take this to the next level, if not several levels further than that. But to me, it didn’t. Granted, the action was thrilling, outrageous and very enjoyable, but the character development was barely visible. They bicker, Lawrence moaned a lot and Smith was cool and likable but there was just a shell of what there should have been. The entire story, including what’s left of their character dynamics are only present to set up the next great action sequence.

Then, the was the taste issue. The crux of the plot as it developed was that the drug dealing villains where using corpses to smuggle drugs, and this was used to “Comic Effect” in two major set-pieces. Though in the first, a car chase, it was black comedy as bodies came thick and fast from the back of a van to be run over by the pursuing cars, the second was pushing the boundaries in a to a more disturbing area.

A criticism levied at Michael Bay by British critic Mark Kermode has been that he is a filmmaker with “pornographic sensibilities”. Not just in the literal sense, but in the way that he views everything from cars, women and explosions for example. But this was no more clearly re-enforced than in a scene about 90 minutes in, when our two ‘bad boys’ are searching a morgue and after pulling back the sheets on fat white guys, they reveal a large breasted young woman, who is refer to as “The Bimbo” if my memory serves. It’s worrying because I don’t know whether this was being played for laughs or was supposed to be a titillating shot of a well endowed woman? Is it right to show a dead woman, who looks to have been strangled to death and referred to a bimbo in a mainstream 15 certificated movie?

I don’t want to sound like a prude but the tone of this and pretty much every scene with the bodies being used, seemed to be in plain Bad, BAD taste and though this humour can play well in the right genre of movie, this just simply wasn’t the film to do it in, in my opinion. But, that criticism aside, my main issues are the pacing. It was just too hollow to sustain its running time and my mind was beginning to wander from time to time between the spectacular action and the few moments of decent comedy.

It just didn’t have the magic of the 90’s actioner, a genre which had faded considerably by the early 2000’s, and without offering anything new besides improved action, which was worth the ticket or DVD price in its own right, or even retaining the original character of the original, this was a sequel failed to hold its own.

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