Here’s how Bad Boys II looks: Will Smith is OK, Martin Lawrence is bad, the six or so screenwriters are terrible, and director Michael Bay should be taken out back and shot. This movie is all about penis extensions. Look at the guns, the cars and the uber-“cool” direction. About 30 minutes into the movie I was waiting for a moment in which everyone in and making the movie admit that it’s a satire about macho men (and to see the cast break out into song and dance to the Village People’s song “Macho Man”). It’s too bad that never happened, and I wish I didn’t waste two-and-a-half hours on this corpse of a film.
Michael Bay is probably the most over-hyped director in Hollywood – or to put it in better terms, the most profitable bad director in this day and age. If you don’t know about Michael Bay, he is a typical late 90’s music-video-director-goes-Hollywood fellow who scored big with his first film, which would of course be the original Bad Boys movie. After two decent films, Bad Boys and The Rock, I was convinced that Bay would be a pretty good director who made all the right moves to shed that music video director image and take on film directing seriously. Boy was I wrong. He then cranked out the overwrought and overly long Armageddon. If that weren’t enough, he took it a step farther and cranked out an even more overwrought and even longer Pearl Harbor.
Now we have Bad Boys II, which thankfully clocks in shorter than Pearl Harbor, but feels just as long and even worse. The story is really a 90-minute direct-to-video type story dealing with macho men and a boring villain. Drugs are involved, so are some corpses, there’s lots of stylized gun-fights, some car chases, and a few big explosions thrown in to get the young impressionable boys all excited. But, under the direction of Bay, what would have been a somewhat entertaining 90-minute movie turns into a 147-minute steaming heap of crap that no one should be subjected to. There are moments in this movie that made me want to wrench – come on, putting a gun to the head of a 15-year old is supposed to be considered funny? Or running over multiple corpses falling out the back of a truck supposed to garner some chuckles? Oh and lets not forget the 80’s screaming-police-captain character, I thought we were all more sophisticated than to dredge up that character again!
If the action were good, I guess that would have been a saving grace of the movie, but unfortunately, it all goes bad there too. Bay shoots all the action shots with close-ups of the characters and has some sort of infatuation with strobe lights (I have never seen someone strobe while he is driving). Bay then employs music video editing to all the action shots (read as: ten to twenty cuts a second, don’t blink!) All this makes for action sequences that at are first, nauseating and second, incomprehensible. And in the end, I could care less who was shooting at who or who was chasing who because I just couldn’t figure it all out.
Bay should learn from his fellow music video director turned film director, David Fincher who’s career and talent have outshone Bay’s. Fincher has turned out some great films that use the music video making mentality as a subtle way of expanding the visual aspects of films. Instead of hitting us over the head with twelve cuts a second, Fincher treats us to long flowing camera moments that have no cuts at all. Fincher knows how to establish mood in a film and keep it going. Also, tension always runs high in a Fincher film. And most important of all, Fincher knows how to pick good films to make – starting from his first Alien3 to Seven to The Game to Fight Club and to his latest Panic Room, Fincher has made a good name of himself by making good films. The same cannot be said for Bay, who seems to be digging himself into a hole.
Yes, Bay has some qualities that stick out. His visual style for action scenes are pretty good in some respects. He knows how to set up some good and “cool” shots, but in the grand scheme of the movie, he just cannot get them all to stick together. What Michael Bay is quickly demonstrating is that he’s a pretty good second unit director at best Other than that, he’s nothing more than a music video director who hasn’t learned that making a movie is much different than 4 minute music video.
Other notes about the movie include the bad Martin Lawrence performance – hey, isn’t that the same character he played in Big Mamma’s House and National Security? Pretty much. Will Smith does all he can to be cool in the film, but in the end it just feels like he was trying way too hard. When Chow Yun-Fat can be cool being just laid back in Hard Boiled, how come Smith has to try so hard with tailored suits and Ferrari’s? The script itself is full of curse words, I mean every other f$cking word is a f%cking cuss word! Can’t you motherf&cking writers get any better sh@t down on paper except for this g@d d^mned sh!t? The script tries too hard to make the boys macho. Bad boys, bad boys, whatchu gonna do when the come for you? Run, run, and don’t watch this movie. Save 2.5 hours of your life because the Bad Boys are in a Bad Movie, written by Bad Writers and directed by a Bad Director. Skip, skip, skip.