Reviewer's Rating 3 out of 5   User Rating 4 out of 5
Bad Boys II (2003)
15Contains strong language, bloody violence and horror

Brash, crass, bloody and loud, it's shameful just how enjoyable Bad Boys II is - an unapologetic, unreconstructed actioner that's as entertaining as it is politically retrograde.

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence return, as suave cop Casanova Mike Lowrey and his angsty family man partner Marcus Burnett - tasked with busting an illicit Ecstasy import business run by Cuban nasty Johnny Tapia (Jordi Molla).

Complicating matters is Syd (Gabrielle Union), Burnett's kid sister and undercover agent, whose love for Lowrey causes their partnership to splinter. Lawrence's character has anger 'issues', and the smoothtalking Smith can't charm his way clear. Once the job's done, they will be too...

Starting with a gunfight at a Ku Klux Klan rally, culminating with a quick draw at Guantanamo Bay, Michael Bay's movie is a long hail of lead, punctured by wiseass buddy banter and gross-out interludes - corpses obliterated on the freeway, Lawrence forced to hide beside a naked, dead woman (that this is a 15 makes a joke of UK classification).

Coming on like The Odd Couple meets The Last Boy Scout, it's very violent and very funny - the dialogue bearing the stamp of co-writer Ron Shelton, whose ear for profanity made White Men Can't Jump so amusing, and gifts Joe Pantoliano's caustic Captain some great lines ("I've got so much brass up my ass, I can play the Star Spangled Banner!").

And as ever with Bay, too much is not enough: everything is hyperkinetic and OTT - one house-set shootout dazzling with its gimmicky, virtuoso, revolving camerawork; a motorway chase scene that is stunning. Also as you'd expect, the film is self-indulgent and overlong - outstaying its welcome in the ridiculous final half hour.

Beyond that, the problems are more of principle. Police brutality is played for laughs, the humour relies heavily on race and sexuality, and yet again in an American movie, the villains are filthy foreigners.

Come the credits, you may echo Burnett's admonition of his sister, "That was reckless, that was stupid, and that was dangerous... I'm telling Mommy."

End Credits

Director: Michael Bay

Writer: Jerry Stahl, Ron Shelton

Stars: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Jordi Mollà, Gabrielle Union, Peter Stormare, Theresa Randle, Joe Pantoliano

Genre: Action, Comedy

Length: 146 minutes

Cinema: 03 October 2003

Country: USA

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