Review by Paul Stathakis | 2002

A misfire

Come the sum­mer, every­one expects to go to the­ater and see at least one cool sum­mer flick. Although “Bad Com­pa­ny”, direct­ed by Joel Schu­mach­er, doesn’t real­ly fit into that cat­e­go­ry, it’s amus­ing nonethe­less. The film stars Acad­e­my Award win­ner Antho­ny Hop­kins and come­di­an Chris Rock. Hop­kins plays a sharp and smart CIA agent, Gay­lord Oakes who is forced to pair up with Rock, who has two roles in the film: one as a CIA agent, Kevin Pope, who gets killed and the oth­er as Kevin’s long-lost iden­ti­cal twin broth­er, Jake Hayes, who hap­pens to be tick­et scalper from New Jer­sey. Jakes ends up being recruit­ed by the CIA to cov­er for his broth­er in order to com­plete a top-secret mis­sion which con­sisits of keep­ing a nuclear weapon off the black mar­ket. That’s where all the fun begins.

Bad Com­pa­ny” is cer­tain­ly a com­e­dy, but one that blends in a lit­tle action on the side. I must admit that it was great see­ing Antho­ny Hop­kins do a lit­tle “run­ning around” at his age. Rock, on the oth­er hand, is the one who did not con­vince me one bit. He’s con­stant “jok­ing around” makes his char­ac­ter real­ly dull and unbe­liev­able and, some­times, even a lit­tle annoy­ing.

What about the sto­ry? It’s very sim­ple and is noth­ing orig­i­nal. In fact, many things move rel­a­tive­ly fast in the film and we, as view­ers, don’t have enough time to grasp every­thing pre­sent­ed. The film reaks with exag­ger­a­tion and this its major prob­lem. Many of the devices and gad­gets in the film are unre­al­is­tic, yet they’re used to save the day in the tough­est of sit­u­a­tions — mak­ing the view­er sit back and say “Give me a break!”. As for direct­ing, I think Joel Schu­mach­er did an okay job. Some­times, the cam­era moves a lit­tle fast and we lose track of who is who.

Bot­tom line: “Bad Com­pa­ny” isn’t all that bad, but it’s been done before. I’ll rec­om­mend the film only if you’re in the mood for Rock’s jokes, Hop­kins’ slick act­ing, and a lit­tle action too. It could’ve been a lot worse, but it’s accept­able and worth a view­ing. I real­ly enjoyed cer­tain scenes.

 

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