Bad Boys II

Bad Boys II (2003)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Cast: Martin Lawrence, Will Smith, Peter Stromare
Extras: Deleted Scenes, Featurettes, Diaries, Music Video, Sequence Breakdowns

Following the success of the original movie, the filmmakers and stars of the film decided to revisit their characters and create the sequel, ’Bad Boys II.’ They shouldn’t have, because the film is an explosive disappointment overall. Where the first film was funny and engaging, this time the jokes are flat and I found myself not even smiling at most of the one-liners. Instead of intriguing, the antics between Martin Lawrence and Will Smith’s characters are annoying at best, testing your tolerance threshold for cursing macho attitudes.
The story – essentially the hunting down of a drug ring operated by a slightly insane mama boy – is very formulaic and clichéd, and serves only to string up some over the top chases, shoot-outs and big Michael-Bay-signature explosions.

Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment is presenting ’Bad Boys II’ in its 2.40:1 widescreen aspect ratio on this DVd in a transfer that is enhanced for 16×9 TV sets. Crisp and absolutely clean, the transfer has reference quality throughout. There are no blemishes anywhere, and the colors are leaping off the screen in their vivid hues. Black levels are solid, creating deep shadows that never break up or lose definition. There is no edge-enhancement visible and the compression is also free of artifacts, making ’Bad Boys II’ a wonderful transfer to view.

The audio is equally impressive. Coming as a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital track, the audio is incredibly aggressive and active, as you would expect form an action movie of this class. Explosions, bullets and ricocheting hits engulf the viewer constantly during the action scenes, heightening the adrenaline rush of those scenes. The frequency response is very wide and offers rich basses well beyond 25 Hz. The dynamic range is meticulous, managing to resolve every subtlety in the track without problems.

On the second disc of the set you will find a series of extras, such as a selection of seven deleted scenes. Given the fact that ’Bad Boys II’ is already extraordinarily long, it is good they have been excised.

A sequence breakdown for six scenes form the film is also included, giving you the chance to see on-set footage from the shooting of the scene, storyboards and the script as well as the final scene in the film. It gives you a nice sense for how material develops and how much work it takes to bring only a few seconds to the screen ultimately.

Nineteen production diaries are also included, being footage form the set while a certain scene was prepared, all the way to its final shoot. One of the cool things is that it explains a lot of the cinematic vocabulary, showing viewers how, for example, the use of certain lenses affects the picture and thus the atmosphere of the scene. I found these segments to be very well put together and very informative and exciting.

Two featurettes can also be found here covering the stunts and special effects in the film, and the DVD is rounded out by the Jay Z music video ’La-la-la.’

This is a solid DVD release, no question. Sadly the film itself is a bit of a disappointment, but if you really want nothing but a popcorn film with big bangs, ’Bad Boys II’ is your ticket.