Directed by Joel Schumacher starring Anthony Hopkins and Chris Rock.

While setting up a deal to buy a nuclear device from the Russian mob, CIA agents Gaylord Oaks (Hopkins) and Kevin Pope (Rock) are ambushed, resulting in the death of the younger operative. With the sting in tatters and only nine days to the bomb handover, Oaks must resort to desperate measures to keep the mission alive - namely Jake Hayes (Rock). Hayes, it transpires, is Pope's identical twin, separated at birth with Pope growing up in luxury while Hayes went into foster care and ended up a hustler. As the USA's only hope, Hayes demands $100,000 to impersonate Pope until the deal is done. But within a few hours of assuming his new identity, Hayes discovers that he's seriously undervalued himself in the danger money stakes.

The title alone is enough to conjure up every cliché of mismatched buddy movies (check out producer Jerry Bruckheimer's CV: 'Beverly Hills Cop', 'Bad Boys', 'The Rock') and sadly it doesn't get any better. With Hopkins sour throughout and Rock never bouncing off his partner the way you'd expect, 'Bad Company' represents a major step back for Schumacher after the about turn success of 'Tigerland'. The greatest problem is that the film doesn't know what it wants to be: a comedy or grip the seats action movie and in the end it's neither, just a replica of every dull US against the bad guys outing that choked the video market in the 1980s. All somehow forgivable if there was some chemistry between the leads but Rock would've been better off by himself because Hopkins says little and interests even less as the old spy who has to keep the wise-ass alive for nine days.

Admittedly Rock throws out a few decent one liners and if Schumacher had put in a few more of them and a lot less shootouts, you would've had cause to bellylaugh during the ludicrously dumb plot (a terrorist group called The Black Hand? a red digital clock on the bomb?). But in the end the funniest thing about 'Bad Company' is that Hopkins actually agreed to star in it.

Harry Guerin