Jerry Bruckheimer is the king of action movies. He's produced some of the best action movies in recent years, and even his not-so-good entries (Gone in 60 Seconds, for example) have both been box office hits and at least somewhat entertaining.
Leave it to director Joel Schumacher to stop Bruckheimer's winning streak. Schumacher made one of my favorite films, A Time to Kill, and 2000's Tigerland was an indie masterpiece, but he has essentially been in a downward spiral since he took over the Batman franchise and turned it into garbage. If Schumacher is still remembered for killing off Batman, then that must mean he hasn't had a good movie since.
Enter Bad Company. The marketing campaign was awful. Chris Rock is funny. Anthony Hopkins always has that flair about him. But what the hell is Bad Company about? Is it a comedy? Is it an action movie? It looks like a not-so-funny action-comedy with a comedian and an old guy, neither of whom should be doing stunts. Let's face it, Bad Company just looked bad, it got bad reviews, and it flopped at theaters in June of 2002.
Surprisingly, it's actually pretty good. Whether my expectations were low or it's just plain entertaining I don't know, but Bad Company is funny and action-packed, everything one needs in an action-comedy. The plot, though not flawless, is pretty solid for what most would consider to be a mindless popcorn film, and with the talent involved, the script sounds pretty good.
Bad Company is more action-oriented than comical, but it had many scenes that had me laughing-out-loud. Chris Rock is funny in just about any movie he is in, and Bad Company is no exception. Anthony Hopkins works well as his opposite, more civilized "partner."
There are a few really stupid parts, but for the most part Bad Company is very entertaining, fairly funny, and moderately action-packed. The action is surprisingly pretty good, at least compared to a lot of "action" films of recent years, but it definitely doesn't set any new benchmarks. None the less, it keeps you captivated from beginning to end.
Bad Company isn't a terrific film, but it is a step above those "cheesy" action-comedy buddy films. It's underrated; don't believe everything the critics say. Bad Company is worth a rental.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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