Worth A Look: 6.99%
Pretty Bad: 2.62%
Total Crap: 60.7%
8 reviews, 181 user ratings
|Bad Boys 2
by Scott Weinberg
I once spent about three hours with an oral surgeon as he extracted, root-canalled, and drilled his way through the largest hole in my face. It was a very painful experience, but in the back of my weeping brain I kept remembering "this horrible experience serves a very worthwhile purpose." Bad Boys 2 is a whole lot like that torturous afternoon, only there's no good purpose to be found. It's long, lumbering, ugly and altogether sickening.I'd contend that Michael Bay's initial Bad Boys was a semi-stylish and somewhat kinetic retread of that tired old Buddy Cop schpiel. Entirely forgettable, but certainly diverting and entertaining in certain spots.
"So infuriatingly bad that I honestly wanted to spit on the screen."
The sequel on the other hand, is a gaping maw of hate, a stunningly inept and venomous piece of crap that treats its audience like shit and does so for well over two hours. Forget that the movie has no cohesion, no logic, no pacing and no entertainment value whatsoever. What's most enlightening about Bad Boys 2 is this: you'll never see a better example of filmmakers' contempt for their audience.
Mindless popcorn flicks can be thrilling indeed; heck, I swallowed my pride and loudly admitted that my pre-conceived notions of Pirates of the Caribbean were entirely wrong. But Bad Boys 2 presents a distasteful presentation of dreck that drones on endlessly, joylessly, insultingly...just pick an adverb here. They all fit.
A thug at a bar would probably sock you in the jaw once and then walk away; producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Michael Bay would be thrilled to beat you to death until you were nothing more than a bloody stump holding a ticket stub.
I'd go into the "plot" at this point, though it's nothing more than your ridiculously typical 'cops chase drug merchants' bullshit so I won't insult your intelligence by implying that Bad Boys 2 has anything fresh or exciting to offer you. The big action scenes arrive with a dreary reliability, although each of them are presented in amazingly woeful fashion. As someone who's staunchly defended Michael Bay's work in the past (mainly just The Rock and Armageddon) I found myself regretting that support after less than 15 minutes of Bad Boys 2 had unspooled. Most directors seem to evolve as they make each progressive feature; Michael Bay is content to devolve and collect his paycheck - and that's just pathetic.
It's well-documented that both Will Smith and Martin Lawrence weren't all that interested in doing a Bad Boys sequel, each actor hoping to expand their horizons past cookie-cutter sequelism. I suppose it was the meager box office showing of Will Smith's Ali (and Lawrence's string of awfulness which includes the likes of National Security and Black Knight) that predicated the contracts, and the insincerity of the end product oozes through every unseemly pore.
What's most galling is that the filmmakers apparently felt the NEED to make this bloated abortion run well over two hours and fifteen minutes...as if they actually have something to SAY. But all I saw (in between the zoom-lens action lunacy) was an unending parade of flimsy race gags, prissy movie-star mugging, grotesque homophobia, a distasteful devotion to rampant misogyny, and the insufferable air of smug moviemakers slapping something together for a Big Summertime Opening Weekend.
Never before has Contempt for the Audience been so astonishingly evident:
--Naked corpses being leered at for sexual gratification. Fun.
--More corpses tossed onto the highway during a car chase. Stupid AND plagiarized from Adam Rifkin's The Chase! And you just know that Bay was right off-camera shrieking "NO! I want the corpse's head to ROLL OFF when the car goes over it! THAT'S what my audience wants!"
--A 15-year-old boy threatened with a handgun as he's offered anal sex from the movie's hero. (WHAAAAA???)
--Two rats screwing in an attic as Bay's camera lingers on what he's sure is a brilliantly conceived sight gag!
--An entire hillside village of Cubans are wiped out just so our heroes can poke fun at the carnage.
--A series of painfully contrived "Three's Company" gags in a video store that are frankly some of the worst jokes I've ever heard in a film.
The list goes on and on, and I've spent more than enough time on a film that I'd simply love to forget all about. I can't remember the last time a big-budget action flick felt like this much of a punishment, but there you go. Bad Boys 2 represents everything that's wrong with Hollywood and the Sequel Machine, and it does so with a precision that almost seems intentional. As in: "Hey, let's see how BAD we can actually make this movie and still gross $100 million!!"
There's simply no other explanation.Glad that Mikey and Jerry and Willy and Marty all got their big guaranteed paychecks on this one. Good job, fellas. Nice to know what you really think of the moviegoing public.
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=7988&reviewer=128
originally posted: 07/19/03 07:30:32