Bad Boys II (2003) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

I suppose the best overview is shown by the summary at Yahoo:

  • Average critical score: C-.
  • Average Yahoo voter score: A.

And that A is not based on 15 friggin' votes, either. They have 19,000 votes, and it's still holding an A. In other words, it is the kind of mindless, noisy film that critics hate and young guys love. As the top commenter at IMDb wrote, "bad movie, great action".

This is a tough one for me to evaluate, because I'm not a big fan of the summer blockbuster action formula. The ratio in this film is about 40% vehicle chases, 20% gun fights, 20% explosions and other destruction, 10% other violence, and the remaining 10% is about all they could set aside for character development, plot, and humor. That's not the ratio I would choose. I'm a big fan of both character development and humor, and I thought they did that fairly well when they did it, but there just wasn't enough of it. The rest of the stuff seemed kinda good for noisy stuff, but I'm really not into the noisy stuff. I kept thinking "is this car chase ever going to end?". And then later I was wondering if the entire movie was ever going to end. It runs two and a half hours.

So my preferred recipe would include not only a different proportion of action to humanity, but also a shorter running time.

Your tastes may be completely different, of course. If you like the noisy stuff typical of summer blockbusters, this one has some impressive explosions, and lots of them.


  • Gabrielle Union (bikini top)
  • Jessica Karr (topless as a corpse in the morgue)

I got into an interesting linguistic sidebar when I was watching this film. I heard Will Smith and Martin Lawrence pronounce the word "flaccid" as "FLASS-id", and I wondered if that is now an acceptable pronunciation. In my newest American dictionaries, it is. The older American dictionaries (1960s era) list only "FLAK-sid", and the OED has never listed any other pronunciation besides "flak-sid" in any edition, including the latest updates. Thus, it seems that the constant American use of "FLASS-id" eventually made it an acceptable and correct way to say the word, at least in the United States! (Languages are living entities, after all. We don't pronounce words as they did in Shakespeare's time.)

DVD info from Amazon

  • two disks

  • widescreen anamorphic - BEAUTIFUL transfer

  • Seven deleted scenes

  • Stunts and visual effects featurettes

  • Six sequence breakdowns, including on-the-set footage, storyboards, and scripts

  • 19 production diary featurettes

In other words, given another decade or so, it will probably no longer be true that everyone mispronounces "mauve", because the incorrect "mawv" will eventually become a correct, accepted pronunciation. (The word actually rhymes with "grove".) None of my dictionaries have given in yet, but they will. I have mentioned this on the site many times, but I am now 54 years old, and have never, not once in my entire life, heard the word "mauve" pronounced correctly. (Last time I mentioned that, several Canadians wrote in to say that it is always pronounced correctly in Canada, because it is originally a French word.)

The Critics Vote

  • General USA consensus: less than one star. Ebert 1/4, Berardinelli .5/4.

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 6.3/10, Yahoo voters "A".
  • Box Office Mojo. They spent $130 million making this, and another $40 million promoting it. It opened quite well, with a $46 million weekend, and is standing on $100 million in about two weeks, as I write this.


Special Scoopy awards for excellence in criticism go to:

Order of merit in accuracy: Charles Taylor of Salon Magazine. "It has been packaged. "Bad Boys II" is another Jerry Bruckheimer-Michael Bay demonstration of spectacle -- noise, stunts, the aforementioned incoherent editing -- taking precedence over story and character. Along the way there are ads for Skyy vodka and Miller Genuine Draft and Pepsi (in a Columbia movie?), along with shootings and beatings and dismemberments, presumably to break up the monotony of the crashes and explosions."

Order of merit in accuracy: Steven Hunter of the Washington Post. "Bad Boys II" might be considered three action sequences and four comedy routines in search of a story. Failing to locate one, the film diverts to Plan B: the invasion of Cuba.

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a C. Solid summer action fare, but not inspired.

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