BAD COMPANY *
CAST: Anthony Hopkins, Chris Rock, Matthew Marsh,
Gabriel Macht, Kerry Washington, Adoni Maropis, Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon,
Peter Stormare, Brooke Smith, Dragan Micanovic, John Slattery
DIRECTOR: Joel Schumacher
"Three minutes...and it's goodbye, New York!" If this line--spoken
as a clock in the bowels of Grand Central Station ticks toward nuclear
annihilation--strikes you as amusing, by all means check out Joel
Schumacher's anything-for-a-laugh thriller about an odd-couple of
CIA agents trying to defuse an exotic, dogma-spouting suicide bomber
right here in our own hometown. Personally, I'd rather spend a weekend
at Guantanamo Bay than re-experience a single frame of this loathsome,
faux patriotic, badly acted, sloppily directed obscenity.
I said odd couple, but I should have said odd trio. One member of
the team is Anthony Hopkins, insufferably smug as a jaundiced operative
who keeps his cool even as he is being pursued, Keystone Kops style,
across the Czech countryside by carloads of crazed terrorists. (Hopkins
probably didn't fully open his eyes until payday rolled around).
The other two agents are both Chris Rock. Rock number one is Hopkins'
junior partner, a suave connoisseur of fine wines and fiery women,
who is terminated one rambunctious evening in Prague while protecting
his superior's life. Rock number two is Rock number one's identical
twin, a fast-talking New York ticket scalper and all-around hustler
who didn't even know he had a brother. The boys from the CIA wise
up the surviving sib and make him an offer he can't refuse--or even
understand. For an impressive wad of dough, they want him to do
a quick study of tapes made of his brother, learn to think and talk
precisely like him, travel to Prague (and other picturesque trouble
spots) and accomplish his bro's mission of permanently calming down
a deranged assassin from the former Yugoslavia and removing a nuclear
bomb from the clutches of a mad Russian. And he has only nine days
before the bomb goes boom.
I won't say if anyone gets nuked, but you'd better believe that
plenty get punched, gutted, shot and slaughtered. So what did you
expect? This is slapstick terrorism, after all--a whole new genere
that can't be pulled off without a little bloodshed. (You could
argue that "Bad Company" was completed before 9/11, so the filmmakers
bear no responsibility for their appallingly bad taste, but I don't
buy that.) The question is, should the insensitive clods go unpunished?
Certainly not. For their penance, I suggest Hopkins play Chekhov
for a full season in Crawford, Texas. As for Rock, he should do
standup somewhere in the vicinity of Ground Zero.