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Bad Company

Starring Anthony Hopkins and Chris Rock
Screenplay by Jason Richman ad Michael Bowning
Story by Gary Goodman and David Himmelstein
Directed by Joel Schumacher
website: www.badcompany.movies.com

IN SHORT: A terrorist group gets their hands on a stolen suitcase sized nuke with which to target fat, corporate, lazy, imperialistic America! What? Again??? [Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violent action, some sensuality and language. 110 minutes]

Two things we've learned over the last couple of years: Even if it makes no sense, director Joel Schumacher will always deliver a colorful, pretty to look at motion picture. Second, Even if it makes no sense, producer Jerry Bruckheimer will ensure that there's enough action and gunfire and explosions and other extremely loud noises to keep anyone with attention deficit disorder happy as a pig in you-know-what.

On the surface, Michael Turner (Chris Rock) is a cultured dealer of antiquities who has a small and tres tres chic showroom -- Michael Turner Antik -- in the city of Prague in the Czech republic. There you may find the highest quality furniture and knick knacks -- no low budget what do you think it's worth Antiques Roadshow crap. No, we're talking fancy french named chairs and crystal vases with six figure price tags and the occasional thermonuclear device that fell off the back of a truck.

It is here we begin a storywhich in short time will begin dropping so many plot twists on you that only the pandamoneom of way too many gunshots fired at our heroes will keep you awake. For Michael Turner is, in truth Kevin Pope, agent of the CIA and he is about to die in the line of duty, protecting his partner, the emotionless veteran Gaylord Oakes (Anthony Hopkins). They've just set up the final arrangements to buy a stolen nuke from renegade ex-KGB operative when Michael slash Kevin is gunned down by an unknown band of assassins. With less than ten days to find an alternative, the CIA goes diving into their databases and finds street hustler/ ticket scalper Jake Hayes (Chris Rock), in reality the long lost twin brother of Mr. Pope (Chris Rock). Jake is everything is brother wasn't. He's not soft spoken. He doesn't pronounce consonants or speak clearly. He doesn't dress for success. In short, he's a brother to the core (as opposed to his biological brother who, in the terminology we know, would be called an Oreo). Oakes enlists Jake in a scheme to impersonate "Michael" -- we told you it was complicated -- and we're off to the races.

or... a tourist's guide to the Czech Republic, with machine gun fire an added bonus. When the story writers, all four of 'em, run out of ideas, Rock shoots from the hip. Falling back on his standup background, the man blasts out all sorts of "I can't believe I'm doing this!" gutter rap and doesn't manage to maintain his cover character for more than about seven seconds. The kink in the mix is the reappearance of "Michael"'s girlfriend Nicole (Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon) who doesn't pick up on the fact that her main ain't her man until she kisses him.

Let's go back to that "can't maintain cover" observation for a second. Nicole is too dumb to catch the differences immediately, which may explain why she's working as a reporter for CNN Europe. Once she cops to the scheme, the CIA lets her walk away . . . this after warning Jake that she could spill everything to the whole wide world 'cuz she's a reporter for CNN Europe. Jeez...

That's another part of the Bruckheimer template. Repeat everything that has gone before, a lot, then forget about any kind of continuity with it and then fire off a lot of guns. After chasing the nuke all over Europe, the action shifts back to the States, where Jake's girlfriend, nurse Julie (Kerry Washington) is ready to dump her guy and move off to a better life in Seattle. Luckily, there's a multi-national terrorist network breathing down the neck of the world, and a completely incompetant CIA force cold on his trail.

Four writers. Four movies written and four different performances delivered by Chris Rock. Hopkins, with that marvelous voice of his, doesn't have to do anything but let his voice do the acting. And that's what he does. Bad Company is so in need of an original idea that you can set your arm on "automatic feed" to shovel the popcorn in. All that action is fine for fifteen year old kidlets and even better for popcorn sales in the theater. Every grownup should wait to rent . . . a very, very long time.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Nine Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Bad Company, he would have paid . . .

$4.00

dateflick level if you're young enough and have nothing better to do. Bad Company is so totally ridiculous that the crowd around us dissed at the screen. All of 'em walked out saying the film was "fun," so go figure. Action will out.

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