Chris Rock as Jake Hayes in Bad Company (2002)

Bad Choices

It's easy to tell what "Bad Company" wants to be, it wants to be a "Lethal Weapon" style movie where we have fast paced action and snappy comedy and in fairness it has action and it has comedy. The trouble is that everything about it is so ordinary, from Chris Rock giving us some typical smart ass comedy through to routine action such as a car chase scene and a close call when it comes to a defusing a bomb. In fact "Bad Company" is so ordinary that it becomes a bit of a monotonous slog, lacking the excitement of a decent story, great action or humour which feels new instead of expected.

During a CIA operation to recover a stolen nuclear bomb Agent Kevin Pope (Chris Rock - Lethal Weapon 4) is killed putting the operation in threat as he is the key man linking the CIA to the Russian terrorists. In need to replace him his partner Agent Oakes (Anthony Hopkins - The Grinch) discovers that Kevin had a twin Jake (Chris Rock), although thanks to being separated at birth neither Kevin or Jake knew of the other's existence. With just 10 days till the deal is to be struck with the Russians, Oakes must tutor the streetwise Jake so that he can pass for the suave Kevin but when the terrorists learn that the man they are dealing with is not who he says he is Jake has to deal with his girlfriend Julie being drawn into the mess.

Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins in Bad Company (2002)

Starting with the storyline "Bad Company" is simply ordinary to the point that you actually don't bother following the ins and outs of what is going on. You get a sense that the ins and outs weren't that important because at least for the first half the movie is all about the street wise Jake being turned into the more suave Kevin. And in fairness whilst all very obvious this first half is where the movie almost works but when you get past that first half and we get the whole bomb/terrorist storyline it becomes dull.

What that really means is that "Bad Company" is trying to firstly entertain by having the street wise Jake having to act suave and thrown into the dangerous world of the CIA terrorists. And as already mentioned it sort of works, watching Jake taking the mick out of the Agents who are trying to train him is mildly amusing but it is never really sharp. And to be honest whilst it starts of mildly amusing it soon wears thin because everything boils down to Jake being told something, making a joke and then it moves on to do the same a minute later.

The second element which should entertain when it comes to "Bad Company" is the action and when you know it is directed by Joel Schumacher and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer you sort of know what to expect. But it all seems so ordinary, car chases lack real danger and excitement as do gun fights and with the second half being little more than a series of action scenes it becomes monotonous as none of them really spark into life. The most exciting it gets is a scene where the Russians threaten to cut Jake's eyelids off.

As for the acting well when it comes to Anthony Hopkins you almost wonder if the bemused look he has on his face when dealing with Jake is more to do with him wondering why he agreed to star in the movie. This is not Hopkins anywhere near his best and he does appear to be just going through the motions which if that was the case who can blame him. Chris Rock is little better because he is not really playing a character rather than delivering what he does in so many movies which is firing off sudden outbursts of sarcastic, smart ass humour. Even Rock doesn't look like he is enjoying himself and very few of those smart ass moments genuinely end up being funny.

What this all boils down to is that "Bad Company" is mediocre at best and often a lot worse. It's just so unoriginal it becomes dull and lacks anything to make it ever really spark into to life.