Reviewed by: Douglas Downs
Starring: Chris Rock, Anthony Hopkins, Gabriel Macht, John Slattery, Peter Stormare | Directed by: Joel Schumacher | Produced by: Jerry Bruckheimer, Mike Stenson | Written by: Jason Richman, Michael Browning | Distributor: Touchstone Pictures
Jesus made some bold declarations in His “Sermon on the Mount.” In Matthew 6:25-34, He instructed us not to worry. This teaching was directly after his lesson on money.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?” In verse 33, Jesus declared,
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Our country is still measuring the emotional fallout of Sept. 11. We are still trying to digest what does “Homeland Security” means exactly. I am an avid reader and, yes, you could call me a news junkie, but how can we even begin to absorb the volume of information given to us each day. We have witnessed the devastation that can result from a group of determined terrorists. We now have been asked to contemplate the hard reality that it could happen again. We have been informed that portable rocket launchers are now somewhere in the U.S. That at any moment a commercial jet, Air Force One, or any number of targets could be destroyed. We also know that in September of 1996, Alexander Lebed, Russia’s former chief of national security made the assertion that Russia had lost up to 100 1-kiloton “suitcase-sized” nuclear bombs. These devices were made for the Soviet KGB. One of these bombs had an explosive charge of one kiloton, equivalent to one thousand tons of TNT. If a device like this made its way to the U.S. it could destroy everything within a half-mile radius of the Capitol in Washington, D.C. Within hours, prevailing winds would carry the nuclear fallout throughout Washington. These KGB bombs were never on the lists of items to be disarmed. It is rumored that many of them were sold for obvious economic benefit.
The threat of just one of these bombs in the hands of the wrong person is the subject of the film “Bad Company”. Can the unlikely team of Anthony Hopkins and Chris Rock calm our fears of another nuclear threat? Hollywood loves inventing, or should I say reinventing mismatched buddies to sell tickets. Why not? It worked for Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, Robert De Niro and Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock and Jackie Chan—just to name a few. The “bad company” in this movie is not the highly commercial paring of Hopkins and Rock, but the combination nuclear terrorism and comedy.
I know that we could witness again the tragic aftermath of “cruel intent,” but I don’t worry about it. I also don’t make jokes about the subject. There is nothing zany about the potential loss of human life. Our Oscar-dignified Sir Anthony Hopkins plays a CIA agent named Gaylord Oaks. He and his partner, Kevin Pope (Chris Rock) are working on a deal to help make the world safe from a terrorist threat by buying one of the suitcase nukes. But a rival bidder kills Agent Pope before they can complete the transaction. The good news is that Kevin has an identical twin brother. His name is Jake Hayes (also played by Rock). Jake is a street-hustler and ticket scalper. He is street-wise and, by engaging his motor mouth, is able to dance his way out of most situations.
Twin Jake is recruited to take the place of his sophisticated brother and complete the deal for the CIA. His mission, whether he decides to accept it or not, is to spend the next 10 days in training so as to absorb his twin’s entire life.
Jake predictably clashes with Agent Oaks in every possible way. The plot tries to create some added tension and suspense as the Pope’s assigns now try to kill him again. Our story includes, in “James Bond”-like fashion, some sexual innuendos and a littering of typical Chris Rock style obscenities and religious exclamations. My two main objections to this film: 1) it’s just not all that great (only 9% of the national critics even liked “Bad Company”, and 2) the plot premise preying on the worries of the public. Many critics were surprised by the combination of Hopkins, Director Joel Schumacher, and Producer Jerry Bruckheimer in a final product that falls flat and is frankly pretty boring. And while many do “worry about tomorrow,” Christians need not to do so if they follow biblical commands.
My recommendation is to skip this one and wait for the rent if you just have to see it. There is nothing like a good remote to move things along.