´╗┐ Bad Boys II (2003) starring Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Jordi MollÓ, Gabrielle Union, Peter Stormare, Theresa Randle, Joe Pantoliano, Michael Shannon directed by Michael Bay Movie Review

Bad Boys II (2003)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Will Smith as Mike Lowrey in the movie Bad Boys II

Bay Super Sizes his Bad Boys

In 1995 Will Smith, Martin Lawrence and director Michael Bay gave us "Bad Boys" a movie in the tradition of cop buddy movies with a mix of humour, crime and action. 8 years later and all 3 were back for "Bad Boys II" a sequel which basically super sizes everything, from the story, the comedy, the action, the special effects, even the running length is super sized. Not that necessarily makes it better than the first movie; in fact although it is bigger it's pretty much on a par with what went before.

With more and more drugs entering into Miami, narcotics cops Mike Lowrey (Will Smith - Men in Black II) and Marcus Bennett (Martin Lawrence - Life) head up a special team to try and discover who's behind it all. But their investigations lead them to the untouchable Hector Tapia (Jordi Mollà), a crime lord who has escaped arrest more times than anyone cares to remember. Not only that but Burnett's sister Syd (Gabrielle Union - 10 Things I Hate About You), an under cover agent is working on the inside making it all the more important to bring Tapia down and save his sister before her cover is blown.

Martin Lawrence as Marcus Burnett in the movie Bad Boys II

The storyline to "Bad Boys II" is again pretty stereotypical of any cop buddy movie as we watch the arguing partnership of Lowrey and Burnett go up against a drug smuggling crime lord. Tied in we have the extra element of Burnett's sister getting involved in the mess by both being an undercover officer and being romantically linked to Lowrey. And that is really it, it's the normal sort of generic storyline you see in many a cop movie and tends to follow the convoluted set up that the whole thing becomes more outrageous the longer the movie goes on, with scenes featuring a naked woman in a morgue and the rescue mission to Cuba being just two out of many convoluted moments.

But the key to "Bad Boys II" is that the whole comedy side of things is super sized with the arguing between Lowrey and Burnett reaching mammoth proportions. Mind you it works and watching Martin Lawrence and Will Smith argue over everything and everything does provide plenty of laughs even if at times it does border on being repetitive. It's not just the buddy relationship where the laughs come from and Joe Pantoliano is again on fine form as the stressed Captain Howard especially as he has taken to some sort of Zen chanting to try and control his stress levels.

Alongside the super sized comedy Michael Bay certainly super sizes the action and special effects with countless chase scenes and shoot outs. It seems that with every movie Michael Bay takes on he has to surpass whatever he has done before and he certainly goes large in "Bad Boys II" to the point that it is preposterously large. Car chase scenes, such as the one which sees a Humvee careering down a hill side through a village of tin shacks is exhilarating but mad stuff, as are many of these action scenes. But what is noticeable is that whilst Bay ramps up the action he also ramps up the style, with many a splendid slow motion shot. There is also a more brutal aspect to "Bad Boys II" and deaths are more in your face than ever.

Of course "Bad Boys II" sees the return of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence and they pick up pretty much where they left off in the last movie when it comes to their characters and friendship. This means Smith is as charming and slick as ever as Lowrey and Lawrence is still as stressed out as ever as Burnett, but of course being a super sized movie so are there characters. Not only do both Smith and Lawrence look more buff, with several indecently tight T-shirt scenes to show off their physique, but their characters border on being caricatures with over the top actions and dialogue. But they work well together making all the super size nonsense of "Bad Boys II" entertaining. In fact they work so well together that pretty much everyone else including Gabrielle Union as Burnett's sister Syd and Jordi Mollà as bad guy Hector Tapia are pretty much overshadowed.

What this all boils down to is that "Bad Boys II" whilst being a super sized movie delivering bigger everything, including a longer running time, is pretty much what you expect from any cop buddy movie. It's entertaining and the big action sequences and stylish special effects will wow those who purely want action and adrenalin but they fail to disguise what is very much a standard crime story. Not that the story in reality is important because the movie is really about Will Smith and Martin Lawrence kicking butt and making wise ass cracks which they do brilliantly.