Friday, June 07, 2002

Bad Company (IMDB) (Netflix)
It's uneven, it's derivative and the action scenes are sub-professional, but it's got Chris Rock strapping this action comedy on his back like Magic Johnson did with the Lakers in Game 6 of the 1980 Finals against the Sixers (Kareem was injured and Johnson, a guard, played center and scored 42 points). The Lakers won the game and the series, and Bad Company manages to keep the audience in the movie, with difficulty.

Rock is the screw-up ticket scalper and chess hustler whose girlfriend is about to leave him, and to add to his problems, the CIA insists that he help them save the world by impersonating the twin brother he never knew he had and buying a suitcase nuke off of the bad guys before some worse guys do. There are the typical training scenes, some "I don't think he's going to be ready in time" hand-wringing and off course the love-hate relationship between Rock and a slumming Anthony Hopkins (Merchant and Ivory must be on sabbatical). With all that going against it however, Rock's boyish irrepressibility camouflages the film's many flaws. As one exiting patron said, "much better than Sum of All Fears."