Released July 18th, 2003

Director: Michael Bay

Starring: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Gabrielle Union, Joe Pantoliano, Henry Rollins, Peter Stormare, Jordi Molla, Theresa Randle

Premise: Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are back - and oh so bad - on the streets of Miami in "Bad Boys II," reuniting them with director Michael Bay and producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Narcotics detectives Mike Lowrey (Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Lawrence) have been assigned to a high-tech task force investigating the flow of designer ecstasy into Miami. Their inquiries inadvertently lead them to a major conspiracy involving a vicious kingpin (Molla), whose ambitions to take over the city's drug trade have ignited a bloody turf war. But Mike and Marcus's friendship and working relationship is threatened when Mike begins to develop feelings for Marcus' sister Syd (Union). Unless they can separate the personal from the professional, the bad boys are in danger of blowing the case and endangering Syd's life in the process.

There is nothing more reliable to the major studios of Hollywood more then sequels. That had been a known fact within the movie industry until recently. Sequels were once made only for films that had made more then a few million more then their production budget or had been critically accepted by the American public. That isnít so any more. The original Charlieís Angels and Tomb Raider films made more then their budget, not too much though, but had been hammered by the public. And yet sequels were made anyway and Full Throttle has proven the sequels are as reliable as they once were. Another truth about sequels was that you never made one to a film that was more then a few years from the original but films like Terminator 3 and Bad Boys II have gone against that truth. Though Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines has proven to be a success, it surely looks to not live up to the success of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which debuted on the same weekend in 1991. Will Bad Boys II follow the same path? One can make argument that it could but it has many good things going for it. Jerry Bruckheimer, who had failure with Bad Company last summer, has been on a roll lately with the success of Pirates of the Caribbean just a week before the opening of Bad Boys II and whenever he teams up with good friend and director Michael Bay, there always seems to be success. Look at films like the original Bad Boys, Armageddon and Pearl Harbor for examples. But like it has been said before, nothing can be reliable now days. Will Bad Boys II falter under sequelitis or will it be able to end the summer with a bang?

The story revolves around the original Bad Boys as they attempt to take down another drug lord in the city of Miami. Only this time they appear to be bigger, badder, and, hopefully, wiser then in the first installment. A couple of things have changed since the original film. The friendship and partnership between Mike Lowery and Marcus Burnett has suffered greatly, mostly to the drastic shoot-Ďem up tactics of Mike who, in an effort to save the life of his partner, accidentally shoots a bullets that slices through his partnerís butt cheek. Marcus canít take this kind of pressure anymore and asks for a transfer with the acknowledgment of his partner. Marcus isnít the only one with secrets as Mike has quietly been dating Marcusí sister, Syd, for a couple of months. Eventually these secrets will have to come out but not until they have completed an important mission to save the city of Miami from rivaling drug dealers. A Cuban drug lord has grown tired of losing money and ground in the drug market, so he begins to set off a drug war within the city itself allowing him to reap in all the profits will rival gangs kill each other and innocent teens overdose on ecstasy. The Bad Boys much put aside their differences even when their secrets come out because Syd soon becomes involved and her life is at stake. The story for Bad Boys II is pretty confusing and unless you really pay attention or are narcotic detectives, you will be lost within the first hour of the film. But sticking to a straight forward story does not apply in Bruckheimer films as they seem to focus more on the action sequences then realism. The problem with the film is that it seems to rely too much on that fact but comes off as being too overtop for many to accept fully. Bay and Bruckheimer seem to ask too much from the audience this time around then they did in the original which hurts the film greatly.

Outside of Lawrence and Smith, there really wasnít too much of a cast in the original film. That is slightly this time around as there are plenty of cast members that are focused on beside the amazing duo. Some do a better job then others as not every single character within the film works on the same level. Though the characters Lawrence and Smith play seem to have problems with each other in the film, that doesnít seem to be the case involving the two actors as they seem to play very well off each other. They even seem to work better together then in the original film. Smith is hilarious in the film though his repeating like ďHell noĒ and such three times seems to get tiresome. Lawrence is great as well and his character doesnít get to a point where he is too annoying. Gabrielle Union takes on the role of Syd, the love interest of Smithís character and the sister of Lawrenceís. The problem with her character is that there arenít that many scenes where she is giving a chance to show her full range of acting ability. Another problem is that she seems to be missing for good portions of the film until she is needed again later in the story. Joe Pantoliano, who plays the captain of the narcotic detective division, is great but he is also missing for good portions of the film as two members of his team members run rampit in Miami crashing cars and destroying tons of public property.

Overall, Bad Boys II is just another good action popcorn flick but one that seems to ask way too much from its audience. Many of the action sequences in the film seem too over the top for anybody to really believe even within a Bruckheimer film. There seems to be too much of everything in this film. Too much foul language was used with the words sh*t and f**k and n***er being said almost every five minutes of the feature. Sure, many of them were used in a comical way but even so, it seemed to be too much. There also seemed to be an excess amount of sex and violence within the film including a pornographic scene involving a black woman in a car and far too many scenes where characters have their brains blown out. Even the time length of the film is too much at a longer then usual two hours and forty minutes. But the comedy presented by Will Smith and Martin Lawrence was too funny to have the bad outweigh the good. They present a style to the film that make the tiresome experience worthwhile. Though the film can not be as highly recommended as Bruckheimerís other film, Pirates if the Caribbean, it is worth checking out during a lazy afternoon.

My Rating: ***1/2 out of 5 (Grade: B-)