Czech Mate
Bad Company
Review by Ross Anthony

Despite the dangerously daring film title, I'll refrain from indulging in the obvious word play. Neither, does "Bad Company," the 70's rock band, perform any tunes for the soundtrack.

Take "48 hours," up the stakes to a nuclear bomb, inject lots of formulaic action-movie action, Hopkins and Rock, and you get "Bad Company." Admittedly, I enjoyed "48 hours," but that was hundreds of movies ago and Murphy translated to screen better than Rock.

I've said this before, Rock rocks in front of a mic on a wooden stage; but on the big screen that stand-up magic wanes. Hopkins, on the other hand, squarely fills the screen. Often, his characters are too proper or intellectual for a simple gun; surprisingly it's great fun to see him fire his pistol in this flick.

The film's at its best working the relationship between Hopkins (veteran CIA agent) and Rock (street-wise stand in for his twin brother) for a little humor and a little heart. Can these two polar opposites learn to trust and respect each other enough to complete the dangerous mission at hand and save the world ... and heck, possibly even become friends? This "driving force" of the story gets interrupted with big, loud, clanging, contrived action sequences created by manipulating the story line. Even the way in which the sequences play out is based on how best to have more action rather than sensibility.

Yes, perhaps this is the kind of action one would expect from an "action movie;" but I think Hopkins fans will (and have a right to) expect more. Btw, the film fancies itself a comedy as well. Action, comedy, younger crowd vehicle, older thinking man's flick ... the picture tries to hoard it all, but falls short in all categories (though it does deliver action, albeit mechanically).

True, Rock has some strong very funny lines, "Risk? As in bad-credit risk or bullet-in-the-*ss risk?" And then in the Czech Republic, admiring the magnificent apartment of the CIA operative he's replacing, "So, if I paid taxes this is where the money would go?"

But it's Hopkins steadfast depth, glare, and gruff charm that pulls the picture out of the C-range.

  • Bad Company. Copyright © 2002. Rated PG-13.
  • Starring Anthony Hopkins, Chris Rock, Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon, Gabriel Macht, John Slattery, Peter Stormare.
  • Directed by Joel Schumacher.
  • Screenplay by Jason Richman, Michael Browning.
  • Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, Mike Stenson at Touchstone.


Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:18:42 PDT