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Bad, Bad Boys - In the Shadow of Leaves
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Bad, Bad Boys
Review of Bad Boys II from the Sydney Morning Herald
By Paul Byrnes
September 18, 2003

He doesn't like it.
But I rather like the review.
Once in a while a movie comes along that has everything and nothing. I'm talking car chases in pretty places, fights between the races and beeyootiful faces. I'm talking Will Smith and Martin Lawrence back together again on the Miami beat, taking the heat, cops you can't defeat, and more dead meat hits the street than, than ... well, a lot, anyway.

I'm no rapper, as you can tell, but I feel I can't properly describe this movie without some recourse to argot. Actually, I feel I can't properly describe this movie. You won't believe me, anyway. I didn't believe some of it myself.

It's a comedy that runs a whopping 146 minutes, destroys more property than the average hurricane and must have cost more than a small war. In fact, it is a small war, but one where collateral damage is the point, not the problem. It's the nastiest, most mean-spirited, cynical Hollywood crap, but it's also pretty funny in parts ...
The film's violence is a shock, because it's so heartlessly comic, ... It's slapstick with vomit and dead people, or Abbott and Costello for young urban blacks raised on gang warfare. It's not like this audience needs examples of non-lethal conflict resolution, is it?

The film was made by Michael Bay, who made his debut with Bad Boys in 1995. Since then he has directed The Rock, Armageddon and Pearl Harbour, movies that pretty much define what's wrong with Hollywood. Each of these films was bigger and stupider than its predecessor, but Bad Boys II takes a giant leap into the abyss of meaninglessness.

It's almost Zen-like in its emptiness, but so pumped with aggression, speed and the glint of expensive consumer goods that your eyes are dazzled. If you feel like a peek at the decline of Western civilisation, here's your movie.

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