Bad Boys II, by Albert W. Vogt III

Sigh. Bad Boys II (2003).

I am not going to have the same kind of summary for Bad Boys II as I usually provide. In the main, there is no difference between it and its predecessor. There is another crime boss, this time the Cuban Hector Juan Carlos “Johnny” Tapia (Jordi Mollà), again trying to bring drugs into Miami. Replace heroine with ecstasy and you have essentially the same movie. There is one new wrinkle with Syd Burnett (Gabrielle Union), the younger sister of Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) and an agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Actually, she takes the place of Téa Leoni from the previous film. What makes Syd ever so slightly different is that she is romantically involved with Burnett’s partner, Mike Lowrey (Will Smith). Yet, just like the first one, here again we have people keeping secrets from each other that they really have no business hiding, and they get dragged out for far too long. In this case, Lowrey is not telling Burnett that he is dating his partner’s sister, and Burnett is staying mum on the fact that he is transferring. I guess this is added tension, though why it is needed when you have a seemingly endless stream of action set pieces that I quickly grew tired of watching, I do not know. However, what makes the sequel stand out a little more is the utter, impossible ridiculousness of the moments where the bullets are flying and the cars are racing. The first and last ones are particularly memorable in this regard. Early on, Burnett and Lowrey get a call about Tapia’s drugs being moved, so they jump in Lowrey’s Lamborghini and speed to where they are located. They also discover that Syd is involved in her guise as an undercover DEA agent. When things begin to go haywire, they take off after her as she is being pursued by a gang of ruffians attempting to hijack the money she was carrying from the drug deal. Shots are being exchanged, cars are crashing into each other, and Lowrey swerves onto the scene firing an automatic weapon with one hand out the window while he is driving. The unbelievability does not stop with this moment. Syd is able to untangle her sport utility vehicle (SUV) from the twisted cars, only to be caught up to by her assailants . . . who had hijacked a semi hitched with one of those double decker rigs used to transport cars. Not only that, but this semi apparently could outpace Lowrey’s Lamborghini. I could not help but laugh hysterically in incredulity. This was also what I was doing at the end. So, surprise, surprise, Syd’s cover is eventually blown and she is captured by Tapia, who flees to Cuba with Syd in tow. What is Lowrey and Burnett’s solution? Why, with an assorted group of police officers and government agents, they invade Cuba, of course. No joke. That is actually what happens. Thus, the requisite final gun battle occurs, and with one little satchel of explosives they completely obliterate Tapia’s palatial estate. One last car chase proceeds involving barreling through shanty towns en route to the United States military base at Guantanamo Bay where our main characters are saved by a mine field. Did I mention Michael Bay, the film’s directors, likes explosions?

Bad Boys II is a perfect diamond of stupid. It has many facets of dumb. The action sequences are far-fetched to the point of being absurd. The repetitive bickering between Burnett and Lowrey is once again tiresome. There is homophobic dialog. There is desecration of corpses, drug use (though incidental), copious amounts of cursing, and buckets of blood and bullets. The cherry on top of this cinematic fiasco is towards the end where we see Tapia inside his Cuban mansion looking at a painting depicting himself as Jesus at the Last Supper. My Catholic sensibilities said, “Great, let’s throw blasphemy into this awful mix.” I suppose it is not supposed to be taken seriously. Yet, given that I had not laughed at any of the other attempts at comedy up until that point, I could have done without this part. In fact, I could have done without pretty much the whole movie. It is over two hours in run time, but it feels twice as long.

Do not see Bad Boys II.


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