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Bad Boys II

  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2003 1 Jan
Bad Boys II
from Film Forum, 07/24/03

Moviegoers will probably have no trouble accepting Miami as the stage for a major drug bust. But the methods of narcotics cops Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Bennett (Martin Lawrence), the "heroes" of Michael Bay's Bad Boys 2, are too outrageous to be believed. And what is more, as Lowery and Bennett follow the clues from one explosion to the next, trying to pin down the kingpin of illegal ecstasy, they are inspiring critics to respond with dismay, contempt, and even anger.

"Bad Boys II is the worst movie of the year," writes J. Robert Parks (Phantom Tollbooth), throwing in words like stinking and vile. He says the movie's "sole purposes are to entertain the already jaded and offend everyone else. Though it doesn't sink to the narrative incoherence of Anger Management or descend to the sheer stupidity of Dreamcatcher, it trumps both of those movies with its total contempt for its audience. How much does Bad Boys II hate its audience?" He goes on to answer that question in great detail.

Anne Navarro (Catholic News Service) says it "visually assaults the audience with its senseless, slow-motion gunplay and explosions. With careening shots and whiplash cuts, Bay throws out one action sequence after another until they are a blur on screen. The film stretches on and on as the body count rises and the strained plot resembles a patchwork of incoherent scenes stapled together."

Loren Eaton (Focus on the Family) adds, "The movie relishes heartless violence, leers at perverse sexuality, and delights in relentless obscenity."

Movieguide's critic says the movie "is overflowing with the usual action violence, but it adds a dimension of brutality to it with bodies used merely as props for the mayhem. The movie also contains extreme sexual content and some nudity." The writer objects not only to the film's excesses, but also to "references to Buddhism, the New Age, voodoo, and homosexuality. Furthermore, references to Jesus Christ are used for comical effect."

Mainstream critics are similarly incensed. Charles Taylor (Salon) rants, "Necrophilia, explosions, destroyed motor vehicles, gratuitous T&A, and Martin Lawrence and Will Smith doing their lame Abbott-and-Costello act. What's not to hate?"

Mike Clark (USA Today) calls it "appallingly mean-spirited."

Chris Vognar (Dallas Morning News) says, "Bad Boys II is enough to make a young person feel old, and an old person stop going to the movies."