Bad Boys II

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Bad Boys II
Review (8.5/10)
(By Alex Riviello)

I know what you're thinking. Bad Boys II - it can't be that great, can it? Sure, it's got all the elements of a smash hit - car chases, explosions, big name stars, witty dialogue, and a bullet count in the thousands...but is it any good? It's quite simple really. If you're looking for a big, dumb, loud, action movie - this is one of the best you'll find this year.

Bad Boys II reunites Will Smith and Martin Lawrence with director Michael Bay, and the result is pretty astonishing. Smith returns to the role that made him a star, bringing back that same blend of funny and cool that he works so well with - while Lawrence finally breaks out of the glut of terrible movies he's been in lately, and shows why he once used to be considered a comedian. Both have great lines, and the chemistry between them that made the first Bad Boys so much fun continues in this movie. Many scenes would have been boring and pointless if not for the incredible back and forth dialogue that they've got throughout the film. Joe Pantoliano returns as Captain Howard, and steals pretty much every scene he's in. (When is someone going to get some common sense and give this guy a starring role??) Another favorite character actor of mine, Peter Stormare, plays a Russian mob boss, but is unfortunately not used to his full potential. Director Bay keeps things lively, with plenty of his trademark slow motion tracking shots of our heroes. And when the action starts...hoo boy, does it get going.

Let's be honest. No one goes to a movie like this for plot. Sure, it's better than most, and revolves around the cops trying to stop this powerful ecstasy that's plaguing Miami, but the story's only reason for existence is to take you from one stunning action sequence to the next. I don't know what we did to be blessed with such great car chases this year, (there's been some incredibly innovative and exciting moments in pretty much every action movie) but this movie only continues the trend. Whether they're in a Ferrari dodging cars being thrown off a car carrier, or in the Hummer H2 smashing through countless houses (a la Jackie Chan's Police Story), there's never a dull moment. Add in some of the greatest shootouts in recent history (of course, there's the obligatory "bullet time" shot) and you've got the perfect popcorn movie. Michael Bay has shown once again that he knows how to make a scene visually exciting, and redeems himself for the garbage that was Pearl Harbor.

Bad Boys II completely surprised me by how much fun it was. If it weren't for a certain Captain Jack Sparrow, this would be my favorite movie this summer. Either way, it's in your interest to lay down money for a ticket. When you're not laughing your ass off you'll be gasping at the pure coolness of the action scenes - and if only every Hollywood blockbuster movie could be this good, the world would be a better place.


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