Now here’s a conflict of interest. In Bad Company, two C.I.A. agents with porn-star names, Gaylord Oakes (Anthony Hopkins) and Jake Hayes (Chris Rock), try to stop terrorists from blowing things up while trying not to explode all over each other’s faces. With not so much as one crotch-wiggle or butt-shake on parade, Bad Company might as well be Joel Schumacher’s anti-Batman & Robin. Seeing as the film’s set pieces are relatively low-octane, one can only assume La Schumacher and El Bruckheimer found a middle ground between camp and TNT. Sure, Hopkins catches a bouquet and cracks a smile when he calls Rock a “bitch” but Schumacher is in non-Viagra mode for the most part. Taking a page from daytime television, the C.I.A. unearths the long-lost twin of one of their dead agents for a top-secret reconnaissance mission. While the film is perfectly functional as a platform for Rock’s snap-crackle-pop crackers-in-my-ass schtick, there is still the matter of all those white-thugs-in-Prague and chess-pieces-as-metaphors. Hopkins burdens the overly familiar material whenever he crawls into frame—not only does he phone it in but he also looks as if he cashed the check before ever reading the script. Screenwriters Michael Browning and Jason Richman can thank blind luck for the ring of truth in a thug’s condemnation of American egomania. Shot before 9/11, Bad Company actually has less to say about politics than The Sum of All Fears. In fact, the film’s best humdinger suggests greed doesn’t see color. “Welcome to my church, where we worship money,” says the film’s Czech ghoul. Words fit for Bruckheimer.
- Joel Schumacher
- Michael Browning, Jason Richman
- Anthony Hopkins, Chris Rock, Gabriel Macht, Garcelle Beauvais, Adoni Maropis, John Aylward, Brooke Smith, Kerry Washington
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