Bad Company
Directed by Joel Schumacher
Written by Jason Richman and Michael Browning
Starring Anthony Hopkins, Chris Rock


Bad Company

I wasn't a physics major, but I wonder whether the miniaturization of plutonium-based nuclear bombs has actually achieved a size small enough to fit under the seat in front of you, and weigh only as much as a cosmetic case, as it apparently is and does in "Bad Company," the new Jerry Bruckheimer-produced action-slash-suspense-slash-comedy-slash-terrorist-slash-CIA-slash-hostage-slash slash film. What bothers me about these Bruckheimer films ("The Rock," "Armageddon," "Pearl Harbor," "Black Hawk Down") is how little attention is paid to the creation of a) real human beings, and b) believable events. Here in "Bad Company," why does the bomb end up planted underneath Grand Central Station? Why is it not decommisioned until there is less than one second left? Why would an actor like Anthony Hopkins take a job like this film? Well, okay, it's the money, and I understand. But still….

Anyway, here we have the not so hot new comedy team of Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins, each of whom has been given lines that you or I can not only anticipate but could have written last night while waiting for our favorite World Cup soccer match to come on the television. They meet cute. Rock is a New York ticket scammer and chess hustler, the identical twin brother, separated at birth and unknown to each other (yes, really) of a CIA agent who was killed in Prague while posing as an antique dealer in order to locate the bomb and do away with the bad guys. Hopkins is the CIA controller who now must get Rock to replace his brother in order to fool the bad guys. There's lots of spy-talk mumbo-jumbo, a bit of Rock making fun of white society as reflected in the CIA, though not nearly as much as it needs, and a good deal of Hopkins delivering deadpan lines in his trademark film style.

The plot is so thin it seems to evaporate before our eyes, replaced by periodic stops for a quick one-liner or a shootout. Logic is an early casualty here, along with any sense of forward motion. It's the kind of film in which a heavy truck full of terrorists can outspeed and outmaneuver a Mercedes 12-cylinder sedan. It's also the kind of film in which a clandestine CIA operation to follow a van shows all the vehicles in a line right behind the target. The film was directed by Joel Schumacher and written by - oh, never mind.