Bad Company Recap

Jamie

CIA operative extraordinaire Kevin Pope is killed while in the middle of trying to obtain a dirty bomb. Realizing that they only have one option, his partner Oakes recruits Kevin’s street hustling, separated-at-birth twin Jake to join the squad. Can he learn to be a spy and get back that dirty bomb before it’s too late? Find out in… Bad Company.

How?! Kevin Pope is a dapper CIA operative with a flair for high class. A real James Bond type. But when our boy Kev goes down moments after making a deal for a dirty bomb the CIA are in a tough spot. Lucky for them (and that’s an understatement), Kevin had a twin that was separated at birth, Jake. Jake is a hustler on the streets of NYC and Kevin’s partner, Oakes, considers it impossible that they could get him up to speed in time. Despite this Jake takes the money the CIA is offering in order to prove that he can provide for his girlfriend. Things… actually go pretty well from there. Jake is a genius like his bro and just never applied himself. In short order the CIA wants to test him and sends him to NYC to impersonate Kevin. Unfortunately he is attacked while there and goes on the run. Only when Oakes lays out the case for why they really need him does Jake rejoin the team and head to Prague. There Jake is shocked to meet up with Kevin’s beautiful girlfriend, Nicole. Going out to dinner with her he realizes that he only has eyes for his girlfriend back home and breaks up with her. At the same time, he is attacked by rival buyers and is able to only narrowly escape. When he meets up with the sellers they are ambushed by the rival buyers and the bomb is stolen. Fortunately they were able to lock it with Jake’s retinal scan, which now is the only thing standing in the way of disaster. Realizing this, the terrorists grab Jake’s girlfriend and hold her hostage. Jake and Oakes go after her and are able to get into an action-packed thrill ride of a shootout with the terrorists and they save everyone thanks to Jake’s big ol’ brains. Later we see Jake and his girlfriend getting married and everything is great. THE END.

Why?! To save the world, duh. Really this is as straightforward as a Bruckenheimer film can be. The bad guy wants money. The good guys want to stop them, despite all the obstacles in the way. Jake also wants to prove to his GF that he’s a man worth marrying and boy howdy, does he ever. So I guess what I’m saying is love isn’t dead and the motivation for this film is love. Awwwww.

Who?! I really do love speculating on uncredited performances. Apparently Charlie Day was in this as a stoner but was uncredited… which makes sense considering I think his scenes were cut. But shockingly Shea Whigham was uncredited despite having a fairly sizable role, particularly at the end where he was one of the heroes. I wonder if maybe there was also something about the cuts to his part that ended up with him going uncredited? Because he clearly was significantly cut out of the film until near the end (where I think it started to be infeasible to do so).

What?! Solid enough MacGuffin in this one, although I often wonder about the strict definition of a MacGuffin. The stereotype is represented best in Pulp Fiction: a briefcase that contains… something of great importance. The audience never even becomes aware of what it is, just that people want it. Sure this is a briefcase, but we more or less are in the know that it’s a dirty bomb and it functions, well, as a bomb. So is that a MacGuffin. I still say yes, but maybe not the best of the best.

Where?! Good settings here with Prague to NYC to Langley, back to NYC, and then back to Prague. Everything is made pretty clear throughout and honestly, I thought Prague looked beautiful. Made me want to go there. Good use of NYC as well considering Jake is a hustler talking about the Knicks, Yanks, etc. all movie. B.

When?! For some reason I had the impression that it was the spring… like April or something. Can’t exactly remember if that was made clear, but Rock is talking up selling Yankees, Knicks, and Rangers tickets I think. And mentions the Masters. Then after he saves the world it’s three months later that he’s getting married on what looks like a beautiful summer day. That’s a solid… D.

Bad Company is a fun, dumb action film that can scratch an itch if you need it to. It really has two fatal flaws. You saw them in big letters on the poster: Rock. Hopkins. I don’t want to be unkind to Chris Rock, but this wasn’t really the movie for him. He seemed a little out of his depth in a role that I think could only have been salvaged by someone like Will Smith. I’m talking Will Smith level star power and charisma and unfortunately there aren’t many people on the planet (ever?) with that. As for Hopkins, this may as well have been billed as Weekend at Bernies 3. I kinda dug his relaxed, seen-it-all CIA attitude at times but… my man, perk up once in a while so we know you’re alive. This could have been salvaged by bigger, more interested stars, but the material was pretty flat for this cast. As for Dragon Hunt, this classic from Up North was probably the first time in my life that I thought, “actually… twins are kinda creepy and real weird.” I didn’t conceive of the possibility that there was a line you could cross with twinness, but the mustachioed martial artist McNaramas were certainly toeing it, if it does exists. The saddest part? Apparently this was a sequel to a film and we weren’t aware of it when we watched it! Noooooooooooooooooooooooo. We’ll eventually have to watch another one! Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Remember back in 2002 when everyone was clamouring for that classic action-comedy team up of Anthony Hopkins and Chris Rock? Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – I distinctly remember the trailer to this film, because I remember thinking exactly what I was thinking nearly 20 years later when I watched the trailer in the preview: it is so weird that Anthony Hopkins and Chris Rock were in an action-comedy spy film together. It truly makes no sense. It is like they put every major Hollywood star, put them in a hat, and pulled out two random names as Joel Schumacher looked on asking “uh … can we rechoose the leads to my film?” and Jerry Bruckheimer just shook his head no. What were my expectations? Pure lunacy I suppose. Although in reality I kind of just imagined that Chris Rock couldn’t hold down a semi-serious spy role and the film would end up just sinking under his performance.

The Good – The actual spy bit of this film is halfway decent. During the first half of the film I definitely was entertained and if it wasn’t for the two leads I would have wondered about why exactly the film was so reviled at the time. If this film was an Amazon Original television show with the premise that the twin of a CIA agent has to be quickly trained up to become a CIA agent himself after his brother is killed (don’t worry, it turns out the brother faked his own death, but that’s season 2) they I think it actually works really well. For real though … how haven’t they remade Bad Company into a television show, it seems like a perfect premise, like Chuck. Despite being completely out of his depth, I do like Chris Rock and he’s faintly amusing in the film. Best Bit: Premise.

The Bad – The performances of Anthony Hopkins and Chris Rock are something to behold indeed. Anthony Hopkins appears to have been awoken from a deep slumber just prior to filming each scene he is in. He looks so tired and disinterested, and he’s also just chomping on gum half of the time, it’s insane. Chris Rock on the other hand is just not a good actor. His jokes on occasion land, but mostly it seems surreal that you are watching an actual Joel Schumacher spy film and Chris Rock is just plopped into scenes as if directly off of a stand up set next door. The entire thing is so standard fare, that indeed, the bad performances by the leads end up sinking what would otherwise be … let’s say Safe House. It is like a poor man’s Safe House. Fatal Flaw: Lead performances.

The BMT – It’ll be one among many BMT twin films in the end. I think it’ll have some legs as a bad buddy cop film, a bad Joel Schumacher film, and of course as a film primarily set in Prague (which is awesome and extremely rare it turns out). So it has some BMT notables. That being said, I doubt I would recommend this film or watch this film again beyond telling someone that it is kind of okay if you don’t mind bad acting. Did it meet my expectations? Kind of. It was completely sunk by the performances, but in the end ended up being a bit too coherent to really be a truly great bad film.

Roast-radamus – I’m going to give a rare Prop I Really Want (What?) to Anthony Hopkins’ Harvard University Police hat that he wears throughout the film … I just don’t get it, but I love it. A definitely great Setting as a Character (Where?) for Prague, a rare bad movie locale. A solid MacGuffin (Why?) for the suitcase nuclear bomb that Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins are chasing throughout the film. And just like last week I think this is surprisingly closest to a Good film as far as the superlative categories.

StreetCreditReport.com – For the most part this film missed out on top ten lists for the worst of 2002. But I did manage to find it on a few blogs / listicles websites for worst spy films. So it has a bit of cred there. Obviously it’ll make a list for worst twin films, but I think its biggest claim to fame is as the worst film set in Czechia. So that’s some decent cred.

Bring a Friend Analysis – This week as another twin action film, we brought along a very obscure film called Dragon Hunt starring the McNamara twins aka the Twin Dragons. The film appears on a lot of Canuxploitation film lists (see here), and is apparently notable for being the first Canadian martial arts film released to theaters (although I found no evidence it was, in fact, released to theaters). Elsewhere on the internet it was suggested that it is a remake of Twin Dragon Encounter, but a flashback at the beginning of the film makes it clear that it is merely a sequel with a very similar story. A vanity project through and through, the film is oddly much more of a survivalist film than a martial arts film. While the twins do show off kickboxing on occasion, most of the fighting is done with traps, weapons, and eventually firearms. I can’t really say the film is particularly entertaining, it is the kind of small VHS trash that is faintly amusing for about 15 minutes. But the actor known simply as B. Bob, who plays the main villain Jake (who would comfortably fit into any post-apocalyptic straight-to-video film) somewhat saves the film with his strange catchphrases and voiceovers that punctuate what would otherwise be a pretty boring film. C-, it would have been a D without Jake, but it is certainly not a film I’ll ever willingly watch again or recommend. Perhaps the original Twin Dragon Encounters is better. Only time will tell.

Twin Analysis – Alright, As far as Bad Company is concerned I’m going to dock some points because Chris Rock never gets to meet his twin brother in the film, he is killed prior to the CIA picking up his streetwise character. I’ll give some bonus points for the fact that people can kind of tell he’s not actually his brother, and because they play off of the Opposite Twin trope and also the Rich/Poor Twin Separated at Birth trope. Those are some nice trops. A- I think, if only Chris Rock could have got in on some split screen action I think I’d have given it an A, but it has to get a ton of credit for the twin element being so vital to the plot. As for Dragon Hunt the twin aspect isn’t super vital to the plot, and the twins are absolutely dire actors. There aren’t many twin tropes either … it is just incidental that the main actors are twins, it isn’t even in the title of the film. For all that I’m going to give it a B+, just because of how weird these twins obviously are. They’re both martial artists and obviously extremely into their Twin Dragon brand, so much so they made multiple terrible Canadian martial arts films to prove just how awesome they are as people (and twins). If they didn’t come across as the second weirdest twins in the world (after us) the movie would definitely get like a C- twin grade.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

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