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Boys make baddest summer sequel

It is the middle of summer, so the sweltering heat and heavy rains can only mean one thing — summer blockbuster.

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence reprise their roles as police officers Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett in Bad Boys 2, to respectively fit the summer action genre, offering plenty of entertainment.

Notice that the words rehash, mindless and cliché are absent from that description. They will not even be mentioned here. That’s because they are not needed for this film’s description, contrary to the other reviews you may read.

Director Michael Bay returns to the director’s chair, giving the audience a great crash-bang action flick that doesn’t make itself out to be a crash-bang action flick. There are no overwrought tension sequences, no impossible Kung Fu moves or four-story leaps that have become the mother’s milk of recent action flicks.

Even the usual “arming and planning” montage that precedes the final action sequence is relatively cliché-free.

The Bad Boys are now in charge of an elite narcotics task force/SWAT team that gives them license to do all the shooting and exploding they can manage. And because they are not just two street detectives who intentionally cross the lines a la Lethal Weapon, the audience may be able to believe that they fly to Cuba to overthrow a drug lord. Well, maybe.

Writer George Gallo also returns to work on this project and does an excellent job. The characters are relatively fresh, the only exceptions being the title roles. The dialogue is quick, crisp and to the point of true comedy. Jordi Molla’s portrayal of villain Johnny Tapias is almost sympathetic, a far cry from Tcheky Karyo’s cliché bad guy from the first picture.

Also turning in a fine performance is Joe Pantaliano, of Sopranos fame, as Captain Howard. Howard is a Feng Shuei-practicing, incense-burning captain trying to control his anger problem, with very humorous results.

The rest of the supporting cast and cameo appearances, including Henry Rollins, Dan Marino and Gabrielle Union (Bring It On, Cradle 2 the Grave) as Marcus’s sister/Mike’s love interest, really give the picture an extra boost.

The film is set in Miami, so the film’s locations are appropriately extravagant and flashy. But the real meat here is the action, and it is tasty, but not too rich. There are no mind-bending camera angles or other distractions from the action, which is mostly chase sequences.

Other critics will say that the film is two and a half hours of pure drivel in a crowded theater, but they would be wrong. During midsummer, two and a half hours in an air-conditioned theater, watching the best action picture so far this year, is pure bliss.