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Bad Boys II

Starring Martin Lawrence and Will Smith; Gabrielle Union, Jordi Mollà and Joe Pantoliano
Screenplay by Ron Shelton and Jerry Stahl; story by Marianne Wibberly & Cormac Wibberly and Ron Shelton
Directed by Michael Bay

IN SHORT: Incredibly rude, crude, graphically violent and funnier than "expletive deleted". [Rated R for strong violence and action, pervasive language, sexuality and drug content. 150 minutes]

Before we get started, for all the parental units out there who've guffawed to the teevee series individually starring Messrs. Lawrence and/or Smith, do not for a second think that Bad Boys II is appropriate fare for your ten year old kidlet. It is not the Fresh Prince of Miami. The violence is gruesomely graphic, with most of it in glorious slo-motion. The four letter words run out of our stars' mouths like diarrhea and all of it is funny as, uh, the stuff diarrhea is supposed to be if you ate properly.

On the other hand, once you get half a dozen or so scenes into director Michael Bay's Bad Boys II you will have no doubts that Bay knows how to work his camera, his job on the first Bad Boys flick, because the camera work is flat out breathtaking; swooping and gliding through the high rise buildings of Miami, Florida. Later in the film he stages a car chase that easily matches the one seen in The Matrix Reloaded -- no character jumps hood to hood but there's a great bit of (sort of) dodge ball with new cars substituting for the ball.

Most important, and in keeping with this site's policy not to compare to source material the most important question is "do you have to know the original to get into the groove of this movie?" The simple answer is " no." Very quickly we fall into the lives of the Miami Police Department narcotics detective team of Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) and Mike Lowry (Will Smith). Friends since high school, the working partnership has just about run its course. Marcus wants out of the team up, blathering some stuff about Mike's "inheritance" and the couple's inability to sort out their problems with lethal doses of head shrinkery. Actually, it appears like everyone in the Miami PD, including their boss Captain Howard (Joe Pantoliano) is deep into therapy.

On the other hand, Marcus' sister Syd (Gabrielle Union), is a DEA agent working a case that will bring her into direct conflict with her bro', as will the still secret romantic relationship she's been maintaining with Mike. He's gone up to her New York base of operations and is thinking of putting in for reassignment to the Big Apple, as well. We think that's in the script. The bad guy is Cuban drug lord Hector Juan Carlos Tapia (Jordi Mollà), "Johnny" to his friends, at least the ones who aren't dead... who's been importing a souped up version of the pill Ecstasy, leaving bodies thrashing on the floors of the nightclubs controlled by the Russian mob led by Alexei (Peter Stormare).

Most of the screen time is dedicated to extended car chases, overkill shooting sprees and random violence. Too much of a good thing is, frankly, too much of a good thing. This is pretty typical of Michael Bay's movies, and some Jerry Bruckheimer productions, too. Start with a basic script and then go totally overboard with crashes, smashes, effects and everything else that makes a popcorn movie a popcorn movie. Bad Boys II takes the cake in regards to gross out humor, gay jokes, straight jokes, drug jokes, exploding bodies, and some truly repulsive stuff that happens in a Miami mortuary.

As the film climbed past the two hour mark, every time we thought it couldn't get any ruder or cruder or funnier, Bad Boys II trumps itself and goes even farther into the nether reaches of comedy. It's puerile humor that makes grownups feel like teens 'cuz it works.

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


It's a dateflick. Simply, take everything we said in the IN SHORT summary and triple it. Bad Boys II walks the fine line of gross out humor. It's long, rude and violent but much more fun than we expected.

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