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« Elsewhere | Main | Puzzle for the Day »

July 30, 2003

Moviegoing: "Bad Boys 2"

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Friedrich --

Guys' night out last night with Aaron Haspel, the God of the Machine himself (here). What better way to spend such an evening than at a testosterone-fest? So off it was to Bad Boys 2.

Ka-boom! The MTV frat-boy movie equivalent of pro wrestling, heavy metal, and monster-car rallies -- I have days when I'm fond of this side of American culture (what are you gonna do, fight it?), and last night was one of them. Funny black-guy stars. Hardware to the max. Dolby to the max. A cop who, as movies cops will, manages despite a cop's salary to live in a nice house on the water in Miami. Chicks in thongs. Homo jokes. A comically exasperated boss. Choppers, car chases, computer-enhanced hyper-action -- all of it pumpin' pumpin' pumpin' to the max, of course. You might buy an issue of Loaded or you might go see "Bad Boys 2" -- no diff that I can see. It's all thwackathwackathwacka/shhhhblam/kapowie, all the time.

Even when the movie wasn't living up to itself -- and the whole idea of the new blockbusters seems to be to live up to the hype and excitement of their own trailers -- the spectacle of the audience enjoying itself in a "Fuckin' A!!! Blow that sucker up!!!" way was fun. The movie is a slob's vacation from coherence and subtlety (even of the pop sort), and a perfect accompaniment to a meal of DingDongs washed down with Big Gulps.

Like I say, a movie for people whose idea of movies comes entirely from movie trailers, and all in all, like getting in the ring for a few rounds with Mike Tyson, minus only some of the physical pain. My disappointment that the trademark Jerry Bruckheimer-production dialogue lines ("Let's go let's go let's go!!!") never got spoken was alleviated a bit by their inspired new replacement -- "Go go go go go!!!"

Afterwards, New York City, despite its bustle, seemed as calm and peaceful as Peoria. Over Indian food and Israeli (!) wine, Aaron and I decided that one of the goals of such movies must be to destroy your finer sensibilities, nuke and pummel IQ points, and eradicate critical and evaluative abilities. And we frightened ourselves for a moment wondering inconclusively about what the rest of the world must think of America when they watch movies like "Bad Boys 2."

There really wasn't much else to say about the movie. So we turned to a better topic: Who's the best writer in the blogosphere? Ignoring ideas, politics, etc, and focusing entirely on the writing. Is it Alice Bachini (here)? Brian Micklethwait (here and here)? Alan "Seablogger" Sullivan (here)? Topnotch, god knows, all of them. And, hey, Evan Kirchhof (here) has been even funnier than usual recently. Despite the competition, we finally managed to settle on a winner: Colby Cosh (here). What an energized, productive, funny, and brainy stylist. Why doesn't this man have a regular column at a major magazine or newspaper?



UPDATE: Aaron has his own malicious fun at the expense of "Bad Boys 2" here. He also recalls far more details from our post-movie conversation than I can. Now there's a man who can handle his Israeli sauvignon blanc.

posted by Michael at July 30, 2003


James Lileks ( is the grand master blogger. True, he's not a "pure" blogger -- he also writes for the dead-tree media -- and I blank out when he rattles on about his young daughter. But as a stylist he has color, a sense of design and pace that would do credit to a poet, and an imaginative use of words that I can only envy.

Posted by: Rick Darby on July 30, 2003 4:50 PM

Rick -- Lilek's great, you're right. But for some reason neither Aaron nor I read him all that regularly. Don't know why he doesn't hook us, exactly ... Maybe we're both just envious and spiteful.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on July 30, 2003 5:04 PM

Formally, Lileks is no blogger; he writes a daily column that's published online. He counts as a blogger because he's connected to the blogging community (he gets linked, he posts comments on other folks' blogs, etc.) I read Lileks every day, but as best writer Cosh gets my vote as well. His subject matter is varied, his posts combine interesting links with original content, and they're only as long as they need to be.

Posted by: Sporkadelic on July 30, 2003 9:31 PM

Oh, oh, oh! I just checked out Evan Kirchhoff's latest post on medical marihuana. It is hysterical in a dry, understated way. By the end, I was definitely laughing out loud.

Thanks for the tip. For some reason, I had not picked up on his site before.

Posted by: Felicity on July 30, 2003 11:38 PM

IIRC, Will Smith's character in the original Bad Boys was clumsily made fun of because he inherited a lot of money, which gave the writers (clumsy, again) an opportunity to tell us that Will Smith works hard and "pushes it to the max everyday!" Oh well, lots of stuff blew up and the wimminfolk were scantily clad, just what anyone should expect (and at times, love).

Posted by: J. A. Groth on July 31, 2003 8:49 AM

I just must say...I get a huge kick out of Alice Bacchini. Not choosing between her and the Blowhards, or anything. Like Audrey Hepburn said about Halston and Givenchy..."I don't want to compare them, I just want to wear them."

Posted by: annette on August 1, 2003 9:28 PM

Cosh gets my vote too...wish I had some of that energy, but it's too much to ask at 55.

Posted by: Alan Sullivan on September 1, 2003 12:26 AM

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