July 2003
Bad Boys II :

Reviewed by Wilson Morales

Bad Boys II
Distributor: Columbia Pictures
Director: Michael Bay
Producer: Jerry Bruckheimer
Screenwriters: Ron Shelton, Jerry Stahl, Cormac Wibberley, & Marianne Wibberley
Cinematography: Amir M. Mokri
Music Composer: Trevor Rabin
Running Time: 2hrs 25min
Cast: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Gabrielle Union, Jordi Molla, Theresa Randle, Peter Stormare, John Salley, & Joe Pantoliano

Martin Lawrence and Will Smith in Columbia's Bad Boys II - 2003

Peter Stormare in Columbia's Bad Boys II - 2003

Will Smith and Gabrielle Union in Columbia's Bad Boys II - 2003

Martin Lawrence and Will Smith in Columbia's Bad Boys II - 2003

Martin Lawrence, Gabrielle Union and Will Smith in Columbia's Bad Boys II - 2003

Martin Lawrence and Will Smith in Columbia's Bad Boys II - 2003

 

Week after week this summer, a new sequel arrives and takes over at the box office. Of course, it should. The whole reason for the film to be made is because the original probably made a ton of box office money and the characters were likeable. From the Matrix Reloaded, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, 2 Fast 2 Furious, and even Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, the characters in these films were very enjoyable to watch, and each landed at #1 during its opening weekend. When Bad Boys came out in 1995, its two stars, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, were just two comedians in a comedy-drama. The film went on to become Columbia Pictures’ highest grossing film that year with $65M. Yes, it’s hard to imagine it with that number, but it was during Columbia’s feeble financial years.

Eight years is a long time to wait for a sequel, but with so many cable channels on TV nowadays, the original film gets played so much, you would think the film came out yesterday. Now comes what I believe is the best summer action of 2003. “Bad Boys II” is action-packed and filled with excitement. Besides the reunion of Smith & Lawrence, who bring in their “A” game, the car chase scenes alone are worth the price of admission.

Set in Miami, someone is using coffins to smuggle cocaine and money in the state in exchange for ecstasy. Miami sends their two best men, Mike Lowrey (Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Lawrence), undercover to uncover the identity of the ring leader, Cuban drug lord Johnny Tapia (Molla). As usual, Lowrey and Burnett are never in sync and more bodies wind up dead. Meanwhile, Marcus’ little sister Syd (Union) drops by to hang with the family. Although the family knows Syd works for DEA, little do they know that she on the biggest case of her career. Syd is also ready to tell her brother that she’s been dating Mike on the sly for the last few months, which worries him being that he and Marcus aren’t really getting along at this time. When the guys discover what Syd is up to work wise, they do everything they can to protect her as well protect the city from drug dealers who come to take over Miami.

From the beginning to the end, the action never stops. At 2 ½ hrs, one would think that the film is a tad too long and that some of the scenes and dialogue get repetitive, but if you could see the chemistry that Smith and Lawrence have together, you can tolerate it. The thing about buddy films that work is that fans want to see the guys interact with each other, especially if there's comedy involved. It worked for Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte with 48 HRS, and Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in the Lethal Weapon films. No one cares about the bad guy, in this case Jordi Molla, who was very good as Johnny Depp’s betrayer in Blow, but has the worst dialogue in this film. Michael Bay, director of the first film as well as Armageddon, has taken this film to the highest extreme. The graphic violence is out of this world. Believe it or not, some folks don’t want tamed violence. They want to see the gore, and they get it. No holds barred. Lawrence is amusing as ever. His scenes with the rats and dead bodies are priceless. Smith brings with his suave self and “A” game to the plate. Union, looking pretty, doesn’t have much to do for the most part, but she definitely makes her mark in a couple of scenes. It’s good to see that although they weren’t given meaty roles, Randle, Salley, and Pantoliano came back to join in on the fun. From the car chase scenes, to the shootout in the house scene, and to the “Reggie” scene, the fun never stops. Bad Boys II is definitely the film to see if you want to see action, gore, comedy, and romance all in one film.

Bad Boys II is the best summer action film of 2003. Absolutely fantastic!