Marcus Burnett is a hen-pecked family man. Mike Lowry is a foot-loose and fancy free ladies' man. Both are Miami policemen, and both have 72 hours to reclaim a consignment of drugs stolen from under their station's nose. To complicate matters, in order to get the assistance of the sole witness to a murder, they have to pretend to be each other. Written by
James Hastie <email@example.com>
Michael Bay - just the man's name is enough to set some cinephile's teeth on edge and to have people spouting such phrases as "downfall of Hollywood", "all that is wrong with modern mainstream cinema" and even "the lord of darkness". Not me though. I happen to enjoy most of his movies on a basic, visceral, testosterone-fuelled level and this one, his first full-length actual movie, remains a mindless pleasure.
Let's face it, it takes some doing to make Martin Lawrence actually funny (I think it's been managed with this film, it's sequel and, arguably, Wild Hogs so far) but Bay manages to do it through some bizarre form of osmosis by placing him alongside the fantastic Will Smith. Smith (in the role that really started his transformation into the leading man moneymaker he would become) and Lawrence play two detectives who may bend the rules now and again but always get the job done. They ARE the bad boys, but in a charmingly cheeky way. Lawrence is a happily-married guy while Smith is the very epitome of a single ladies-man so some confusion arises when they have to swap identities in order for Lawrence to bring in a material witness (played by Tea Leoni) to a shooting that has been linked to a large drugs robbery. Hijinks ensue along with some frenetic action sequences.
It's all really rather good but nothing spectacular, with the film coasting along through some of the duller patches thanks to the chemistry between Smith and Lawrence (and, enjoyably aggrieved in the aggrieved captain role, Joe Pantoliano). Leoni isn't as irritating as she can be in the damsel in distress role and Tcheky Karyo gives us an enjoyably urbane bad guy.
The action, as to be expected from Bay, is good stuff with plenty of bullets flying and explosive material just waiting to be lit up. It's also worth mentioning that while it's, ummmmm, a little choppy in places here there is nothing quite as bad as that eye-hurting car chase in The Rock and no overuse of Bay's standard tricks while he gets used to his commanding role.
Sit back, crack open a cold one and enjoy.
See this if you like: Lethal Weapon, Running Scared, The Rock.
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