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BAD COMPANY

[Bad Company] Producer Jerry Bruckheimer has a knack for odd couples in his testosterone-charged spectacles: Nicolas Cage and Sean Connery in The Rock, Gene Hackman and Will Smith in Enemy of the State. In this spy thriller of sorts, we get Anthony Hopkins and Chris Rock. During a botched deal to acquire a black-market nuclear bomb, Hopkins's CIA operative, Gaylord Oakes, loses his partner, Kevin Pope (Rock). To keep the operation going, Gaylord must make the Russian arms dealer (Peter Stormare) believe that Kevin is still alive, so he enlists Kevin's separated-at-birth identical twin, jive-talking, streetwise Juke Hayes (Rock again). The only problem is that Gaylord has just nine days to whip Juke into shape and complete the operation. The scope -- we're threatened with an easily concealed mobile nuclear bomb inside the United States -- is similar to that of The Sum of All Fears, and the mechanics rehash The Rock and State. The understated Hopkins and the hyped-up Rock do spark some chemistry, though their moments of quaint connection are often upstaged by the production's noisy thrill-machine gimmickry. Joel Schumacher directs, but you wouldn't know that, as this is a Bruckheimer film and all Bruckheimer films look exactly alike no matter what the backdrop is or who directs. At the Apple Valley, Entertainment, Flagship, Holiday, Hoyts, Showcase, and Tri-Boro cinemas.

By Tom Meek

Issue Date: June 7 - 13, 2002