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Thursday, July 17, 2003

Movie: Bad Boys II

Posted on Thu, Jul 17, 2003 at 4:00 AM

***
Our Rating: 3.00

As Michael Bay movies go, this one's a real Michael Bay movie: hyperviolent, coarse, misogynistic, homophobic, boldly derivative, unforgivably long and blithely oblivious to the sanctity of human life. (Corpses as comedic props!) It also has just about the best car chase ever captured on screen, a high-octane opera of pursuit in which driverless vehicles are dropped like Tonka-toy obstacles in the path of narcs Mike and Marcus (Will Smith and Martin Lawrence). Every edit in this sequence is so masterfully timed, and each camera angle so brilliantly conceived, that you can't justifiably complain that you've seen it all before. It's excess taken to a new level of immediacy.

Still, it only accounts for a few minutes of fuel-burning nirvana in an otherwise numbing extravaganza of cynical dumbness. This time, the verbally sparring bad boys are trying to poke holes in the Miami ecstasy trade; complicating matters is the involvement of Marcus' sister, Syd (Gabrielle Union), a DEA agent who also happens to be involved in an embryonic hot-and-heavy fling with Mike. That her supposedly pivotal character disappears from the entire middle section of the picture without anybody seeming to notice says a lot about Bay's commitment to continuity and cohesion. Most of what happens makes not a lick of sense, and the sub-Kings-of-Comedy patter about human wee-wees and woo-woos is almost as offensive as the scene of da cops "humorously" threatening an innocent teen with a firearm. Go for the aforementioned chase sequence, then duck out and see "Pirates of the Caribbean" again.

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