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The Film: Bad Boys II (2003)

The Principles: Michael Bay (director), Big Willie Smith and Martin Lawrence (leads), Gabrielle Union, Michael Shannon, Henry Rollins, Yul Vasquez, Jordi Molla, Theresa Randel, Peter Stormare, Oleg Taktarov, and Joey Pants.

The Premise: We get to see what Mike Lowry and Marcus Burnett have been up to in Miami. Still blowin’ shit up and talkin’ shit.

Is It Good: You bet your friggin’ ass it is. It’s friggin’ AMAZING.

This came close to being THE movie of summer 2003 for me. It’s basically sharing it with Terminator 3, 28 Days Later, Freddy Vs. Jason, and Hollywood Homicide. This is how you do a sequel. Bigger, badder, and upping the destruction and violence to an obscene level.

People really crap on Michael Bay for focusing less on story and more on visuals. You know what? Sometimes that’s for the best. I don’t always need a movie to get me thinking about life and make me start crying. Sometimes (ok, most of the time) I’m in the mood to see lots of explosions, car chases, and automatic weapons being fired. Do I care about a story in there somewhere? Eh, I guess. It’s about friggin’ Ecstasy pills, and a Cuban who is trafficking them and money inside corpses.

Cue excuse to have an awesome car chase on the causeway that even made my month and a half old daughter happy and jumping up.

This film is literally set piece after set piece with plenty of great lines thrown in. Some that are just hilarious like during the car chase on the causeway, and Martin Lawrence says out loud, “This is some sick shit!” and it doesn’t fit at all in the sequence, but the line is just so funny; to the oft quoted/parodied “Shit just got real!” There’s even a BRILLIANT (yes I am calling Michael Bay brilliant) 360 pan through a house during a shootout Mike and Marcus have with some Haitians.

The film is also fairly long at 148 minutes. That’s perfectly fine. It’s 148 minutes of awesome. It never feels too over long, and by the time the climactic sequence happens in Cuba where they destroy Johnny Tapia’s estate, and DRIVE A FUCKING YELLOW HUMMER THROUGH THE FRONT DOOR, you really don’t care about the length of the film.

Everyone’s firing on all cylinders as well. Big Willie is his usual charismatic self, and while I really haven’t liked most of the stuff that Martin Lawrence has done, save for Blue Streak, and the Death At A Funeral remake, he’s got major chemistry that can’t be denied with Big Willie. They both know how to do funny. From seeing rats humping and talking about “Rat Pussy.”, to a sequence in an electronics store where their heartfelt conversation is mistaken for them being in love with each other and getting “popped from behind.” Only in a Michael Bay film.

If that’s not enough for you, the movie is incredibly gory. I was surprised that the film got as violent and gory as it did, as I was just expecting gunfights, and not dead bodies getting run over, and guys exploding into chunks. That’s just a nice little extra to have in the film. Some people say that Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen is Bay unencumbered. I say that to really truly see Bay unencumbered, see Bad Boys II, and rejoice. We need more films like this one in our lives.

Is It Worth A Look: What? My slobbering over it hasn’t won your over already? Of course it’s worth a look. It’s not on Blu-ray yet, but the dvd can be had fairly cheap, and it’s on Netflix Instant, so do yourself a favor and watch it. You won’t regret it.

Random Anecdotes: This movie cost $130 Million dollars. It was worth every penny.

Michael Bay makes a cameo as the driver of the crappy car they try to hijack.

Ron Shelton claims to have never seen the first Bad Boys before being hired, then renting it and fast forwarding through it before he started working on the film. He also has never seen the finished product.

Apparently Henry Rollins got the job because of a shitty audition he had for Armageddon where he showed up with half a torn page of the script and being in a pissed off mood. They didn’t hire him for Armageddon, but they got him for Bad Boys II.

Bad Boys II was made because Bay was tired of making PG-13 films.

I share my birthday with Michael Bay. SCORE!

As I stated previously, I was taking care of my daughter when I popped the film on. She was only a little over a month to a month and a half, and she loved the film. She particularly loved the freeway chase. I had her sat up, and she was throwing her arms in the air, smiling, and making happy noises.

Cinematc Soulmates: Beverly Hills Cop II, Lethal Weapon 3 and 4, and Tango & Cash.