The very first shot in Bruckheimer's latest cinema action vehicle, "Bad Boys 2" is of Amsterdam, a city that has nothing to do with the rest of the movie, but is one of many unnecessary elements in this sequel that pop up and then quickly disappear without purpose. Not of much help is the dizzying camera work and quick edit cuts of director Michael Bay, who made his debut with the first "Bad Boys" eight years ago. While I must confess, I had a really great time watching the first part (and re-watching it again countless times on video thereafter), this sequel joins the ranks of those that fall far short of their original.
The hopelessly thin plot features a Cuban baddie wanting to transport his drugs from Miami to his homeland, undetected. Trash talking detectives, partners and best buddies Mike (Will Smith) and Marcus (Martin Lawrence) are assigned to track this movement and are hot on his trail, but as has always been the problem for them, keep falling short of obtaining enough evidence to nab him. Thrown into this mix is Marcus' kid sister, Sid (Gabrielle Union), an undercover agent from New York who also happens to be romantically involved with Mike. Allowing for all sorts of complications, none of which we ever care about, are the Russians and a bevy of street thugs who round out the body count before the senseless, incomprehensible climax involving the US army!
Getting to that climax however is harder than it may seem. Multiple car chases, explosions and gun fights, not to mention confrontations between characters that are only partially funny and the overlong running time (the movie clocks in at almost 2 and a half hours), prove to be more numbing rather than exciting. The car chase, definitely the high point of the film, features other cars being thrown off and then exploding like mines, from a truck speeding across a freeway. Buts its tastelessness and hence lack of overall effect is evident from its failure to generate any genuine tension on screen. Much of this can be pinned to the general disregard that the movie has for everything around it including human lives, public property, houses, dead corpses and even its characters. This isn't the Matrix; these are real people and places being tossed like trash.
While profanity featured very highly on the list of attributes that made the first feature so slick, bold, funny and yes, even very enjoyable, the characters were never reduced to bickering imbeciles, fighting amongst themselves every opportunity they got. This movie takes a nearly non-existent situation and literally blows it out of proportion. It drags even in places where it's supposed to make us laugh, such as Smith and Lawrence's numerous tirades against each other. This may be an action comedy and my looking for too much reason is uncalled for, but does it have to be such an incoherent mess, simply to provide an excuse for gratuitous violence and an orgy of explosions? The junk bits that act as set pieces in this sequel make the screenplay for the first seem like Oscar material. And this too from a movie that had no less than three people working on its story?
Its dramatics are cliché ridden at best and even the self aware delivery of the leads results in many jokes falling flat. In the end, the tired sequel making tradition of squeezing more from all of the good elements of the first flick (in this case, more explosions, more gunfights, more chases and even more idiocy) quickly de-generates Bad Boys 2 into a series of cluttered sequences. - Faizan Rashid