A Casting Call for ‘Female Corpse’

Bad Boys II: written by George Gallo, Marianne Wibberley, Cormac Wibberley, Ron Shelton, and Jerry Stahl; directed by Michael Bay; starring Martin Lawrence (Marcus), Will Smith (Mike), Jordi Molla (Johnny Tapia), Gabrielle Union (Syd), and Peter Stormare (Alexei) (2003): Ron Shelton, the fine director and screenwriter behind such films as The Best of Times, Bull Durham, and Cobb clearly needed some money when he wrote this film. Indeed, he claimed afterwards that he didn’t watch all of the first Bad Boys before working on this movie and that he’s never seen Bad Boys II in its entirety. Lucky him!

There’s one absolutely terrific car chase in Bad Boys II, about 40 minutes into the movie. Kudos to Michael Bay for that ten-minute sequence. The rest of the action is fairly rote stuff, big-budget blood-baths, occasionally slowed down to a CGI-era Peckinpah crawl. The dialogue is mostly terrible, though there’s some unintentional hilarity buried throughout. Martin Lawrence and Will Smith really deserve better — their charisma carries what little human interest the movie has.

As to other problems, a couple. How can the movie waste Peter Stormare as an ineffectual  supporting villain? And what in the name of Holy Hell are we supposed to make of a sequence involving a dead, naked, big-breasted woman in a morgue who becomes the centrepiece of all the shots and the dialogue for about five minutes? And the actress who plays the corpse appears as ‘Female Corpse’ in the end credits. It’s like a doctoral thesis in the male gaze. Not recommended.

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