Kevin: It’s hard to believe now, but back in 2001 Michael Bay actually appeared to be on the cusp of being taken seriously as a filmmaker by the critics, with his upcoming three-hour war drama “Pearl Harbor” positioned to be the next “Titanic” both at the box office and at the Oscars. Instead the movie was a big disappointment critically and commercially, and thank god it was, because if Bay had continued trying to go respectable, we never would have gotten one of the last great action movies ever made, the insane and insanely entertaining “Bad Boys II”:
Neither Bay nor stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence were exactly returning to the franchise that put them on the map from a position of strength, with all three in need of a hit. But rather than churn out a safe PG-13 cash grab, the director instead gave us the Michael Bayliest film ever made. “Bad Boys II” is exactly what you would expect and hope from a $150-million, 2.5-hour, hard R-rated Michael Bay action film: it’s gratuitously violent, wildly profane, proudly lowest-common-denominator, borderline racist/sexist/homophobic/xenophobic, and with zero regard for humanity, as our two heroes put numerous innocent civilians in harm’s way just to catch one drug dealer whose product may have caused a single accidental overdose at a nightclub (they also have a good laugh about pulling a gun on a terrified teenager whose only crime was showing up to take Lawrence’s daughter to the prom).
Did I forget to mention that these two Miami detectives also singlehandedly cause a major international incident with an unsanctioned, military-style operation in Cuba, ending with a shootout at Guantanamo Bay? So yeah, this movie is awesome, and for better or worse we probably will never see anything like it again. But if you live near an Alamo Drafthouse you have the chance next month to experience “Bad Boys II” the way it deserves to be seen, on the big screen (check your local Alamo’s site for availability and showtimes). CJ and I already have our tickets for the Austin Lakeline screening on May 21; say hi to us afterward, we’ll be the two guys cheering this all-time classic attempt at trying to make Martin Lawrence seem badass: