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27 September, 2007 / Erik

“My Boy is Gonna Slice You into Chorizo!”

At exactly two hours, Bad Boys II transcends itself. The Bad Boys movie is over. That ended at 1:55. At 2:00, it becomes the most ridiculous missing in action/let’s get our boys back movie ever conceived. Michael Bay is to be lauded.

Despite my appreciation for Michael Bay, I have only recently seen the two Bad Boys flicks. I’ll admit I’m not the greatest fan of the screenwork of the principle actors. Of course, I can only make a truly informed opinion of Bay when I’ve taken in all his work, seeing as it is all easily obtained.

questiontatter.jpgBad Boys II is not a great film. This is where you say, “Of course, it’s Michael Bay.” That’s too easy. The problem here isn’t so much Michael Bay, as what the scripts asks of him. The film actually drags until the two hour mark. Is it possible that this film actually needs a first act? The movie begins with our cops already on the hunt for the very same drug lord featured in the final chase. In the first Bad Boys, you get a little bit more of a first act. A shocking idea, I know … but there’s a reason the Lethal Weapon movies have an opening stunt and then a role-up into the plot. Therefore, the film runs lopsided, being all second act until 1:55. I’m not kidding. The movie is a long chase sequence and while I felt the Island could benefit from that structure, I’m not so sure anymore.

Oh, why put so much thought into Michael Bay? Because he puts a lot of thought into his work. I know, another shock. Sit down and have a glass of water. Bay’s movies are big, dumb, and loud. However, they’re smartly made. Nothing you see in one of Bay’s flicks is an accident. We’re not dealing with a lack of talent (Ed Wood) or the cynical belief that audiences won’t notice (Uwe Boll). Bay is passionate about his big loud movies. This is the kind of talent McTiernan (don’t let prison break you, John) had and the passion Stallone had for their work in the 80s. Despite Bay’s talent and understanding of big movie making, none of his movies completely work; the closest success being the Rock.

And this is what the final 20 minutes of Bad Boys II does right. Suddenly, the cop characters go military with all the guns, gear, and tactics you would expect in a bloated jungle assault movie in the 80s. Did I mention they invade Cuba? Or the little robot bomb? Also: Michael Bay blows up an entire mansion. There’s a purity there that has to be admired.

The action film is all but dead. With the reliance on computers and loss of tough guys, we really can’t put these sorts of movies together anymore. Also, John McTiernan is going to jail. Michael Bay waves that old flag until we recover the seemingly lost art of the action movie.

This is the call to action, by the way. Yeah, I said it. It’s not a pun.

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