A/V Room









Bad Boys 2 - US reaction

Compiled by: Jack Foley

IT'S been 10 years since the original, yet the trailer for Bad Boys 2 looked pretty awesome, in terms of action, comedy and the chemistry between Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.

Sadly, though, the reaction towards it in America, when it opened on July 18, was less than friendly. In fact, I can't remember reading as bad a set of reviews for a mainstream movie for a long, long time... not since Pearl Harbor, in fact.

Surely it can't be as bad as the following suggests...

Rolling Stone leads the way, describing the sequel as 'the cinematic equivalent of toxic waste', while the Dallas Morning News stated that 'Bad Boys II is enough to make a young person feel old, and an old person stop going to the movies'.

Critic Doctor, meanwhile, stated that 'this is a film that is so bad, that it forces me to consider whether I might have been a bit hasty when I recently claimed that Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle was one of the worst things ever produced by man'.

The New York Post referred to it as, 'basically, the longest, the most expensive, most vulgar and by far the stupidest episode of Miami Vice ever', while Hollywood Reporter said that 'Bay ... inflates what should have been a lean, taut action comedy into a two and a half hour marathon'.

Slant Magazine was equally as vitriolic, stating that 'Michael Bay’s latest jingoistic fetish film, Bad Boys II, could be the most vile creation to come out of Hollywood since Patch Adams'.

While the Los Angeles Times stated that it is 'a mind-boggling, nerve-numbing, adrenaline-pumping combination of shock-and-awe brilliance and idiocy'.

And Reel Views opined that 'Bad Boys II isn't just bad — it's a catastrophic violation of every aspect of cinema that I as a film critic hold dear'.

There were some better notices, however, with the occasional critic finding something to praise in the action vehicle.

Entertainment Weekly, for example, stated that 'Smith and Lawrence give good razz, but Bad Boys II proves that it's possible to pack a movie with so much popcorn that it leaves the audience overdosed'. It awarded it a B-.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune, meanwhile, stated that 'Jerry Bruckheimer has delivered a destruction extravaganza that is the peak, the thundering apex, the exploding propane refinery of overblown mayhem'.

And E! Online felt that 'the overdone movie could've shaved off about half of the action - and that surprisingly raw showing of gore - and would have been just fine. But at least you know you're getting your money's worth'. felt that it 'raises the action bar for cop movies in general', but even the positives generally found something negative to say, with the two hour 24 minute running time a big problem for most people.

SplicedWire, for example, felt that it is 'a 100-mph joy ride until it...runs out of steam. It’s not that fireballs and gunfights drop off, it’s that the accumulative effect becomes a mind-numbing din of million-dollar-a-minute over-production'.

While the Chicago Tribune said that it is 'a movie that is entertaining and exciting and doesn't let up for a second — but one that is also sometimes jaw-droppingly awful'.

Newsday felt that 'somewhere deep beneath the layers of broken glass, twisted chrome, mutilated flesh and burnt gunpowder clogging Bad Boys II, there are faint signs of a cunning little crime comedy straining to breathe free'.

And the New York Times stated that it is an 'assaultive, bombastic, and occasionally funny spectacle'.

The Philadelphia Inquirer added that 'despite some awesomely choreographed stunts and the two stars' pedal-to -the-metal appeal, the movie seems endless'.

But, in the main, the overall reaction was extremely negative, with Arizona Republic drawing this overview to a close with the following description: "Take away its endless trail of bodies, and Bad Boys II is a stale, tedious, woefully acted movie that wastes the talents of Smith and proves once and for all that Lawrence has precious little talent at all."

The movie opens in the UK in October.

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