Eight years after the success of the first film, the creative talents responsible have reunited and produced a summer action film that delivers. “Bad Boys 2” not only improves on the action content but it sets new standards for buddy cop movies to aspire.
The film continues the adventures of Miami Narcotics cops Mike Lowrey (Will Smith), and Marcus Bennett (Martin Lawrence), as they battle the bad guys and each other to stop a dangerous drug trafficker named Tapia (Jordia Molla’) from flooding the streets with his deadly version of Ecstasy and from smuggling millions of dollars out of the country.
While the plot may seem like any other taken from other films in the genre, “Bad Boys 2” benefits from the great chemistry between Smith and Lawrence and the steady flow of action from director Michael bay who keeps the action flowing but never lets it upstage the characters in the film. The action is nonstop and gripping and there are numerous chases in the film that will not only delight but also raises the bar for future films to follow. One such chase had Mike and Marcus in a high-speed pursuit of the bad guys in a stolen car hauler. The scene was awash in action, energy and humor as the two detectives traded barbs with each other and bullets with the bad guys while dodging a vast array of vehicles that had been dropped from the hauler in an effort to stop the pursuit. The stunt work was amazing and it was a scene of masterful creation that kept the adrenaline flowing and the effects were used to enhance the scene without taking center stage away from the human element. This is but one of three main chase scenes in the film and each one was spectacular as it offered something new to what has often become a tired cliché in action films.
The film also had some great moments of humor and a scene in a video store where a frustrated Marcus bares his soul to Mike unaware that there conversation is not private is hysterical as is the scene where the two harass a young man who has come to take Marcus’s daughter on a first date.
While the action is hot and constant, it should be noted that it is very violent and there are some scenes that upped the ante on graphic violence it is never gratuitous and often appropriate for the situation that it was presented in.
The supporting players in the film are good especially the work of Joe Pantoliano as the long suffering boss of the detectives and Theresa Randle as Marcus’s younger sister D.E.A. agent Theresa Burnett. However it is Lawrence and Smith who make this film fly as they feed off one another without trying to upstage one another. I have always thought that Lawrence works best when paired with a talent that will push him and allow his gifts to show and his portrayal of the turbulent yet confused Marcus is dead on as he blends action and humor in manner that comes off as natural for the character rather than forced as he had in some of his recent work. Smith exudes an easy going charm that makes his character Mike a likeable person despite his flaws. Mike and Marcus are good people who often have to do bad things in order to make the world a better place and are not Teflon action heroes as they are affected by the violence around them. Mike has learned to accept it, while Marcus has to debate if a less violent way is more appropriate and better for his family in the long run. Bay keeps the film clicking and despite it’s nearly two and a half hour length, it never becomes boring and the action sequences are original and captivating. Easily one of the best action and buddy cop film in years and yes, it’s better than the original film.
4 stars out of 5