The Trailer Park: Bad Boys II (2003)
I love the first Bad Boys film. I saw it five times in the theater and blew out many speakers watching it at home on my laserdisc player.
When Bad Boys II was announced I was excited. Here was a chance to see what Bay could do with the cops and robbers theme after trying to make films that were overly long and kind of lame.
When the trailer for the film was released, I went through it with a fine toothed comb. I watched it, analysed it, and made note of everything in the trailer. I was really, really excited.
When the film was released into cinema, me and the wife were there opening day. I had fun watching the film, but there was something different about this film. I found this sequel to be really mean spirited and long. The film ran for almost 2 1/2 hours and I felt that the film really didn't need that long to tell a story that was really about an hour and 45 minutes tops. Bay likes to stretch his films out to lengths that most people will hate.
The mean spirited feel of the film really bothered me though. Here you have the two main characters, played by Martin Lawrence and Will Smith, who hate each other. Lawrence's character spends the entire film trying to get away from Smith's character, only to kind of reconcile at the end. Smith's character also hates Lawrence's character back, but tries to stay away from Lawrence's wrath. These characters do this hateful dance throughout the whole film and the audience is supposed to be on their side?
You see, the chemistry that Riggs and Murtaugh had in the Lethal Weapon series was tense at first, but they became friends and then family. They never hated each other. They respected each other at the very least. Smith and Lawrence have the family moment, but it feels forced and completely unbelievable. We do not like these characters. We want them to shut up so that we can try to enjoy the action scenes.
There are a few scenes which go beyond hatred into full blown crimes that the characters commit. There is a scene where a boy comes to Lawrence's house to pick up his daughter for a date. The kid is outfitted with the standard "nerd" apparel: thick glasses, slicked back hair, and a quite demeanor. With this being a comedy, Smith and Lawrence put this kid through the routine of picking on the kid until Lawrence's wife stops them. The problem is: she doesn't for a while. This gives Smith and Lawrence time to ask the kid a series of humiliating questions, threaten him with a gun, jail time, and sodomy. My wife laughs at this scene, but I do not. I find the scene completely unfunny and ugly.
So why do I think that that this trailer belongs in the halls of The Big Movie House? Because I think that the trailer is really well done. It sells the film as a buddy cop action film. It doesn't show us any of the hatefulness of the film. It doesn't show us the ugly. It shows us a fun film that can be enjoyed by the masses. It doesn't show us Will Smith asking a teenager if he wants to be "fucked in the ass". Yes, that does happen in the film and it is played for laughs.
I want people to be able to view this trailer with the wide eyes that I viewed it with. For me, this was supposed to be an action film that I could have fun with. I did when the film first came out. Now, I have no idea what to think of this film except that Michael Bay has some series issues that he needs to work out.