I had such great hopes for Bad Company. The trailer
enticed me with the promises of gratuitous pleasures particular
to the high- budget action film: scenes of spectacular violence
and destruction gracefully perpetrated by leather-clad, renegade
personalities; a lightly constructed and slightly comedic
plot to organize and soften the gore; just enough dialogue
to endear characters to the audience; and a storyline so quick
that it accelerates even time itself. Bad Company delivers
little of what makes an action film fantastic despite its
intentions. Although there is a good measure of stylized violence,
suspense, testosterone, and even a likable character or two,
the film doesnt have enough of these elements to conceal
its flaws, which are considerable.
Whats good about this film? The plot is believable
enough. Kevin Pope (Rock), the ultimate CIA spy, gets
offed by some terrorists before the completion of his assignment,
which in short, would save the world from nuclear annihilation.
Fortunately for our American operatives, Kevin has a long-
lost twin brother, Jake (Rock), a street-hustler who is in
most ways the opposite of the refined, Rhodes-scholarly Kevin
but who is good enough, according to the CIA, to stand in
CIAs top-dog and Kevins partner, Gaylord Oakes
(Hopkins), is made responsible for Jakes transformation,
one that takes place in nine days and is intended to birth
sophistication that took decades of specialized training to
realize from the person of an undereducated hustler. And thats
not including Jakes requisite mastery of the Czech language.
Needless to say, by miracles known only to the screenwriter,
Jake accomplishes just enough keep the story alive as he dodges
the perils of international spydom.
Hopkins as usual is in true form, bringing grace to his morally
conflicted character. Not only is it his job to keep Jake
alive, but he must do it with the knowledge that Jake is an
expendable figure, a victim of the gravity of the situation
(saving the world, that is) and a victim also of his professional
inexperience as both an operative and his brothers ghost.
Rock, although not well cast for the complexity of his role,
plays a likeable, funny Jake who counterpoints Hopkins
stern character. The rest of the cast is forgettable unfortunately.
This films poorly developed script allows little room
for anyone other than the main characters to add interest
to the film.
Although this film seeks to represent the glories of successful
action filmmaking there are a couple of chase scenes
that are relatively heart- stopping it falls short of
the true excess that makes this genre worthwhile. The crashes
and bullets arent loud or bloody enough. The dialogue
isnt sufficiently adequate to garner sympathy for or
interest in the characters. The films seems to slow toward
the end, in a way that I cant explain, which means that
I probably just tuned out somewhere before the credits. Finally,
any suspense- building plot devices collapsed into a predictable
end thats guessable halfway through the movie. Finally,
I spent too much time counting the characters who, logically,
shouldve died. If you havent already guessed,
Bad Company, means bad theatre experience. Save your
money for a trip to the video store on a rainy day when you
dont care what you watch.
Maria G. Rios