Silence of the brains

Bad Company Starring Anthony Hopkins and Chris Rock. Directed by Joel Schumacher. Rated PG-13.
Rated 1.0 All I can think is that Bad Company is the result of some weird, cynical late-night bet between producer Jerry Bruckheimer (Pearl Harbor) and director Joel Schumacher (the guy who put nipples on Batman), an evil alliance designed to plumb the depths of the general movie-going public’s seemingly willing acceptance of pure, unadulterated chock-a-block crap.

You know you’re in for a mullet-bait experience when you’re faced with a flick that shares its name with some cheese-ball KFM-friendly geezer band. Here, the dastardly duo manages to make the actual CIA look like a well-oiled rock ‘n’ roll machine in comparison to the screen version. On hand is a slumming Anthony Hopkins as a high-ranking spook forced to recruit and whip into shape some smart-assed punk (Chris Rock) so that they can go off and save the world.

Seems that Rock is the long-lost brother of an operative who had to go and get himself offed right in the middle of negotiating a deal for one of those Russkie suitcase nukes, and the agency needs Rock to assume the dead guy’s identity. So the pair get to engage in that old tried-and-true banter between the grizzled old vet and the upstart maverick as Hopkins spends eight whole days training Rock in everything he needs to know to be a super-suave secret agent, and then it’s time to pass the clown off on a potentially catastrophic mission. Sound pretty stupid? It gets worse—if the CIA is half as idiotic as it’s portrayed here, we’re in some serious deep stuff.

But for now we just have this serious crapola to contend with, a lurching vehicle that grinds its gears repeatedly as Hopkins acts as if he’s in a Tom Clancy thriller and Rock behaves like he’s doing a comedy routine on the set of Loaded Weapon 3. One can expect certain inconsistencies in "check-your-brain-at-the-door" fare, but this wretched exercise can’t be bothered to even try to attach some logical thread among the high-gloss set pieces. Is it too much to ask that if a movie deals with intelligence perhaps a little should be attached?