Anthony Hopkins as Gaylord Oakes
Chris Rock as Jake Hayes / Kevin Pope
Adoni Maropis as Jarma
Lanette Ware as Pam
“Bad Company” is your typical Jerry Bruckheimer action film. It’s full of action, humor, and lots of explosions. But while it’s entertaining, it’s not particularly memorable.
The CIA is on the track of a Russian nuclear bomb that has been put on the black market. Leading a team trying to track it down is Gaylord Oakes. His agent, Kevin Pope, has posed as a representative of a buyer and is close to sealing a deal to get the bomb. However, a terrorist group that is a rival buyer kills Kevin in an attempt to eliminate the competition. Without him, the seller is likely to bolt and Oakes will lose the bomb.
Fortunately, Kevin has an identical twin that he was separated at birth from – Jake Hayes. Loud mouthed, uncultured, and kind of shady, Jake is the exact opposite of Kevin in personality. It’s up to Oakes and the CIA to make him a passable copy of Kevin in 9 days in order to get the bomb. But the terrorists, not knowing that Kevin is dead, continue to try and kill his replacement in order to ensure they will win the bomb.
“Bad Company” is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violent action, some sensuality and language.
I generally like Jerry Bruckheimer films. I love action, humor, and outrageous stunts. “Bad Company” delivers all that. It’s not Bruckheimer’s best film, but it’s decent summer entertainment.
I don’t like Chris Rock at all. I find him to be loud, egotistical, and obnoxious. However, he didn’t bug me so much in this film. He was perfect for the character of Jake Hayes because they needed someone loud, egotistical, and obnoxious. That was the whole point of his character. He also adds much needed humor to this movie. The only time he didn’t seem natural was when he was playing his straight-laced brother Kevin. Rock didn’t have to worry about the action because most of the fight scenes involved him running away from the bad guys. I was also surprised to see how faithful his character was to his girlfriend in the film. When confronted with his brother’s beautiful girlfriend, he does the honorable thing and stays faithful to his girl back home. That was quite a turn from most Hollywood films where they’d have you rooting for him to sleep with her. In the end it made his love for his girl even more believable.
Anthony Hopkins does a fine job with the material he’s given. He’s good as the experienced CIA operative. He does the job thoroughly, takes no nonsense, says what is on his mind, and is rather brutal and efficient when it comes to fighting the terrorists. He could have carried the movie by himself. Besides Rock, though, he’s got a pretty good supporting cast. The other agents are cool and one of them is highlighted pretty well in all the fights. In fact, all of the fight scenes are pretty well choreographed.
This movie was filmed in Prague in the Czech Republic. It provides a rather exotic and gothic setting for the story that looks great. The music was well done, too. It’s a mix of orchestral score and pop music that comes together nicely to provide the mood for the film. Joel Schumacher almost makes us forget about “Batman & Robin”.
What Didn’t Work:
Though Hopkins and Rock are good in their respective roles, they have absolutely no chemistry. Pairing the two seemed like an odd bit of casting, and that’s exactly how it ends up looking on the big screen. The two are rather awkward together and when they do attempt to have “buddy” moments, they usually don’t work very well.
This film is filled with improbable events. While most of them are forgivable, a few of them seem glaringly bad. For example, the CIA goes to great pains to keep secret the fact that they are trying to recover a nuclear bomb. However, Hopkins and Rock casually discuss it in front of bellhops, a hotel masseuse, and other hotel employees. After they made such a big deal about keeping it secret, that seemed kind of odd.
The beginning of the film also goes to great pains to establish the fact that Jake Hayes has a sharp strategic mind by showing him play chess. However, he doesn’t show any sort of strategic ability throughout the film. At the end he exhibits a certain intellectual talent, but it has nothing to do with playing chess. Maybe I’m being picky, but I expected more.
Finally, this movie depicts terrorists preparing to set off a nuclear bomb in New York City. It has been a long time since September 11th, but that doesn’t make this any easier to watch. Yes, it’s fictional, but that doesn’t keep you from thinking, “This could really happen.”
“Bad Company” is good enough as a popcorn flick, but it is rather unmemorable in the end.