Directed by Michael Bay, starring Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Joe Pantoliano, Gabrielle Union and Jordi Mollà.

A veritable assault on your sonic sensibilities, 'Bad Boys 2' is louder, brasher and a whole lot badder than its predecessor. But not in the sense that our titular drug squad cops Mike (Smith) and Marcus (Lawrence) are tougher and sassier – this entire enterprise is just plain bad.

As one has now come to expect of a testosterone-fuelled actioner from Hollywood's resident megalomaniacs - Bay and producer Jerry Bruckheimer are the duo behind 'Bad Boys', 'Armageddon' and 'Pearl Harbour' – the entire 2 hours 26 minutes of this film is an exercise in gung-ho ego massaging.

The plot, using the term loosely, involves our squabbling duo's bid to take down the evil Cuban drug lord Tapia (Mollà) who has been using his undertaking business for undertakings other than those of the funereal variety. Using the funeral home as a front, Tapia trafficks ecstasy hidden inside cadavers.

And just in case we don't think Tapia's evil enough, we learn that the drug money bankrolls Castro (surely he could sue for defamation of character) - having firstly been laundered through the Russian mob and the Klu Klux Klan.

Four car chases – one of which involves the decapitation of one of the unfortunate cadavers - and eight shootouts later, Mike and Marcus finally figure out his evil scheme. At this point things are further complicated by the fact that Marcus' sister (Union) is working undercover to foil his Evilness. It turns out she's also Mike's latest love interest – a further point of bitching between the bickering buddies.

The meandering, bloated story has more holes than the pullover of a Cuban peasant. For example, how is it possible for an undercover cop to talk openly with the drugs squad and not blow her cover? Unfortunately that's not the end of it.

To make a ridiculous plot truly contemptible, Bay tacks on a fourth act that involves Cuba, a kidnap, a yellow Hummer ploughing through a shantytown and Guantanamo Bay (I warned you that it was gung-ho).

Following the disappointment of 'Pearl Harbour', perhaps Bay was looking to return to the action movies with which he made his name. However, from its endless explosions and epic car chases to its hyperkinetic editing and lazy acting, this is the most bombastic display of arrogance I have ever seen onscreen.

Will Smith is the best thing about this film, and I'm certainly no fan. A sequel that should be avoided at all costs.

Elizabeth O'Neill