Continuing Bad Boys Week :
Much like audiences in 2003 we now know what to expect from this film. There’s going to be car chases, explosions and quippy one-liners shouted above the sound of all-of-the-above. Hopefully…
The Miami skyline is once again on fire with color grading and continuing to serve as a lush backdrop for the franchise. Having walked those streets (and almost throwing up on a monkey – a story for another time) and experienced the art-deco and neon for myself i can attest that BB2 captures the air of the place beautifully in these location shots.
A compliment to these shots in the last film was Mancinas score. This time around they opted for a soundtrack put out on under P Diddy‘s Bad Boy Records in partnership with Universal Records and featuring additional music by Dr Dre (PHD, MBA, GSC) – which serves the purpose just as well but adds an air of attitude that the franchise has embraced.
The stylish camera work is out in force once again – BB2 is awash with sweeps and pans, fast cuts and swirling slow motion angles. A car door has never opened in such epic fashion (since the last film).
From the getgo its all Bruckheimer and Bay…………..And crikey, there’s Henry Rollins!
We’re dropped straight into an operation with the (Bad) boys, and it’s going south (not least because of the historical connotations) as the lads are breaking up a Klan meeting.
The Boys are now part of the Miami police department Tactical Narcotics Team which provides the satisfying acronym TNT. Unfortunately this does not enable the use of the ACDC song by the same name….
This outing takes the original formula and lubes it up good. Bad Boys II (that’s roman numerals for 2 and not 11 by the way) is slicker, funnier, faster and wetter than its predecessor :
Drugs are flooding the streets of Miami and its up to Mike and Marcus to shoot first and ask questions later.
Peter Stormare makes an appearance in this outing, slightly typecast but always fantastic and along the same lines as Joe Pantoliano in that he brightens up the projects he’s involved in.
The sitcom element for this outing takes the form of Mike hooking up with Marcus‘s sister who is an undercover agent, and Marcus is thinking of transferring out. Again the film uses this element to drive the human aspect of the characters but doesn’t lean too heavy on it to make a point.
I love that the characters have embraced a kind of therapy theme in their relationships which even extends to the Captain.
The car chase sequences turn the streets of Miami into a scene from Heat. Miami Heat! (cue tumbleweed) This evolves into a mission from GTA5, which in turn descends into pure chaos. I could liken it to a 9-year old lighting a fire and throwing toy cars into it and making explosion noises. It’s stunning work.
Bad Boys 2 has a flavour all of its own now. This part of the franchise nestles itself neatly into its own groove. It’s not trying to be an action adventure, it’s just being a Bad Boys film at this stage.
My main criticism of the film is that it becomes tedious seeing the same gunfight or chase sequence repeated during the film. It’s simply too long. The film dips in the middle (with the coroner van chase), sagging under the weight of its self indulgence.
Overall i feel like it’s a better film than the first but it needs to lose the 5th consecutive car chase and gunfight sequence, or at least change it up a bit. Being a fan of the genre i never thought i’d become weary of the format but this could be too much of a good thing? It clocks in at 2 and a half hours but could easily lose an hour from the middle (and tone down the Commando routine from the finale).
The ending is just too fantastical for me. I know, I know – suspend disbelief and all that. Its just a bit much. Risking an international incident for one cop? Involving ex Delta Force and CIA operatives? A half dug tunnel underneath an enemy compound? The suspension of disbelief theory has been stretched too far by this point.