a critiQal film review Bad Company (2002)

  • DVD
  • Vudu

Plot: Jake Hayes (Rock) is a street hustler, making his living selling tickets to sports events. His girlfriend, fed up with being poor, is leaving him. Now, on top of that, the CIA needs him. It turns out he had an identical twin brother who was killed while setting up the transfer of a nuclear bomb. Now the CIA has to train Jake to act the part and get the nuclear weapon...and they only have 9 days to do it.

587 words (Est. Reading Time 2m 56s)
  • ...fans of Enemy Of The State should enjoy this Hopkins/Rock team-up.

I was interested in seeing Bad Company after watching the trailer awhile back, but just hadn’t gotten around to it. Then, recently, I’d heard a few bad reviews, which tempered my interest. When it came out on DVD, I figured I’d give it a try anyway. Heck, half the time I don’t agree with most reviewers anyway.

Plus, I had to give Jerry Bruckheimer another chance. With all of the movies he’s produced that have been well done, I figured he deserved a second chance, even though I had to suffer through Coyote Ugly like the rest of you (We’ll never forgive you for that one, Jerry). I’m glad I did.

The characters were all well done in Bad Company. Anthony Hopkins as CIA spook Oakes shines, as usual. He brings so much to the film just by his expressions. He’s incredibly versatile, and unless ill-used, always shines on screen.

Chris Rock, while making a memorable performance in New Jack City, usually isn’t the first choice, I would think, for this kind of character. He did do a pretty good job, though. He has the dumbfounded, lost puppy dog look down pat. It’s unfortunate that is his only look here though. The beginning, showing him in his other role as the brother who gets killed, was a little unbelievable. He didn’t act the part of the old-hand in the CIA business.

His other role, though, as the brother who gets thrust into the CIA, was much more believable. With his lost puppy dog look clearly showing through, he looked out of place, which he was supposed to.

Bad Company‘s plot is centered around an old, rundown, theme. The “double” routine has been used too much lately. It was new when Van Damme did it in Maximum Risk (1996). It was getting old when it was used by Schwarzenegger in The 6th Day (2000). It’s dead now. Stop using it people.

The dialogue and the action helped the film, but unfortunately, the movie still wasn’t up to the standards I expect from a Jerry Bruckheimer production. It tried it’s hardest, and came very close. But Jerry, when we’re looking at your films, we want something new. Not something redone. C’mon.

The special effects of Bad Company weren’t bad. The action sequences were decent, and helped further the film, rather than just being big shoot-em-ups. Some of the fighting looked a bit on the fake side, unfortunately. Not too bad, but enough. The special effect that really catches the eye, so to speak, was the numbers reflecting in Chris Rock’s eye. Nice touch. Gets the viewer involved, and heightens tension a bit.

The whole feel of Bad Company also reminds viewers of the CIA. When you think CIA, you think big austere places, very uncluttered, cold uncaring walls, recessed lights, the whole total businesslike feel. The sets help to create this great backdrop for the film.

The Bad Company DVD leaves a lot to be desired. Only one extra feature, and no theatrical trailer? In this day and age that’s just sad. Give us more!

Even with it’s occasional blunders, and a been-there-done-that plot, Bad Company rises above that to become more than just another mindless action flick. The good acting, decent action, and the look of the film all contribute to that.

My recommendation: if you liked Enemy of the State (1998), you just might be in the mood for a little Bad Company.

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