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BAD COMPANY


"It's stunning how quickly the movie's director, Joel Schumacher, is swallowed whole by the [Jerry] Bruckheimer take-my-breath-away technique, which is reiterated in every movie Mr. Bruckheimer has produced since 'Flashdance.' Mr. Schumacher's affection for his performers-perhaps his outstanding quality as a director (although it must be said that he often seems not to know what to do with them)-is banished to the shadows in this lighted-with-a-40-watt-bulb project...Mr. Hopkins deserves another Oscar for wrestling with bad lines ('The cold war's over. Terrorism, fanaticism is global.') without rolling his eyes so vigorously that they scrape the inside of his skull. ..'Bad Company,' like many of the nonpolitical terrorist-as-villain spectaculars that have been held back after Sept. 11, has the whiff of something gone stale. Though it may have sat on the shelf for a while, this project had gone bad long before it was released." --Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times

"To be sure, the movie was made before 9/11...but even before 9/11 it was clear that nuclear terrorism was a real possibility. While 'The Sum of all Fears' deals in a quasi-serious way with the subject (up until the astonishingly inappropriate ending), 'Bad Company' is more light-hearted. Ho, ho...The motive for blowing up New York is scarcely discussed...As for the theme of a nuclear device that might destroy New York, I have a feeling that after this generation of pre-9/11 movies plays out, we won't be seeing it much anymore. -Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"What's funnier than a mouthy comedian paired with a more phlegmatic cop, crook, or other movie-size professional? For decades, black mouthy comedians have added racially charged laughs to standard odd-couple dynamics...Shrewd and unflummoxed even when undermined by the story's inherent stupidity, Rock is the patch of street smarts on which an even odder couple stand: Joel Schumacher directs with far less fetishism than he might have, while producer Jerry Bruckheimer kicks up only a fraction of the bull dust usually visible in his projects."-Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

"...meandering bluster and bewildering car chases through the caverns of Manhattan in pursuit of terrorists ready to blow up the city with a portable nuclear bomb. Whether you care if they find them or not may depend on how much you've been able to withstand 'Bad Company's' sensory overload of firefights, vehicular mayhem, techno-cool swagger and enough bumptious contrivances to fill several seasons of daffy prime-time soaps...Hopkins squints, sneers and glides through his action-hero duties, chewing toothpicks and gum along with pieces of scenery...[Chris Rock] spends much of 'Bad Company' being jittery, dysfunctional and perpetually frightened in the manner of Mantan Moreland's Birmingham Brown roles in dozens of 1940s Charlie Chan movies...Moreland, as with most of his black comic peers of his era, had talents that far exceeded the roles he was offered. But they took such demeaning roles because, back then, Hollywood didn't give them any choice. Rock, given his clout in pop culture, does have a choice." -Gene Seymour, Newsday

"...Schumacher gives this movie as good, streamlined and fast-paced a ride as he can. But in the end, the director's stuck with a stinker of a premise, which returns to the now-cliched, white-guy-black-guy era of 'Beverly Hills Cop,' 'Trading Places' and '48 HRS.'
... 'Bad Company' (which Bruckheimer first started conceiving in the late 1980s) is still asking us to chuckle at that nutty dynamic between 'urban' wisecracking and chilly, white deadpan." --Desson Howe, The Washington Post