I dig into another title in Ten Bad Dates With De Niro, this time from a list of films it’s painful to admit you like. I’ve reviewed others on the list before, but hadn’t had a chance to watch Bad Boys II in forever.
It’s exactly as I remember it.
Maximum Bayhem, but with some solid laughs. This was before those horrible Transformer films came along. Yes, there are tons of explosions, and also racist, homophobic and sexist moments, but you also can’t knock the chemistry between Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in this films.
Miami cops Mike Lowrey (Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Lawrence) are on the trail of a Cuban drug dealer, Johnny Tapia (Jordi Molla) who is moving ecstasy through corpses and mortuaries across the country. Things get complicated when a DEA agent, Syd (Gabrielle Union) is working the case undercover.
It gets more complicated. Syd is Marcus’ little sister,and is having a thing with Mike. But that all takes the back seat to the partners bickering at each other between massive set pieces that no doubt would have claimed so much collateral damage, and lives if they were real, that it would be shocking.
Thrown together for entertainment purposes though, it’s pretty damned enjoyable. The supporting cast includes Theresa Randle, Micheal Shannon, Joe Pantoliano, and Peter Stormare,and they all throw in with this sleek, superficial, popcorn offering that is a little long, two and a half hours, and simply races from one action sequence to the next in Bay’s usual MTV editing style.
And yet, it is fun.
Part of it is the sheer ludicrousness of the set pieces, the rapid-fire camera work, the explosions, the cuts, but just as much relies on the dynamic between Smith and Lawrence and their characters – you like them. You almost can’t help but like them. They make for a great cop pairing, and the bro-mance is real.
This film feels like peak Bay, before he tumbled into computer-generated robots fighting in action sequences that you can’t make out. It’s not The Rock, but it is fun, and when it lets you enjoy the locations, glimpsed ever so briefly from image to image, the film has a nice scope to it.
The addition of Union to the cast is genius, as she makes a good romantic and action partner for Smith’s Lowrey, and gives us a relationship we can believe in. Which is saying a lot, because script-wise they don’t have a lot to work with – there is just some dialogue to allow for a quick break before jumping into the next shootout.
Loud, mindless, fun. Grab a tub of popcorn, settle in, turn your brain off, and just enjoy. And then go see Bad Boys For Life, or pick up a copy of Ten Bad Dates With De Niro and explore some of these lists yourself.