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Xpress, the Coolest Section of the St. Petersburg Times, is the home for features, news and views of interest to young readers. Most of the work in Xpress, which appears on Mondays in Floridian, is produced by the Times' X-Team. The team of journalists ages 9-17 from around the Tampa Bay area is selected every year at the end of the school year to serve during the following school term. The current team of 12 was chosen out of 150 applicants. Watch for X-Team application forms in Xpress during the month of May.


Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris


St. Petersburg Times Online

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Can't get enough of 'Bad Company'

Bad Company
[Touchstone]
Drama and comedy mix well in Bad Company, starring Anthony Hopkins, left, and Chris Rock, right.

Billy photo
Read Billy's movie reviews on his special archive page.
By BILLY NORRIS

© St. Petersburg Times
published June 10, 2002


Movie: Bad Company

  • Rating: PG-13

Summary: When a CIA agent involved in a covert operation to purchase a nuclear weapon on the black market is killed on the job, the agency finds itself in a bind. But luckily, the dead agent has a twin brother in New Jersey -- a ticket-scalping hustler with girl troubles and no money who goes by the name of Jake Hayes (Chris Rock). The CIA recruits Jake to fill in for his brother (he didn't even know he had a brother!) and assigns Gaylord Oakes (Anthony Hopkins) to the job of training this misfit. This incompatible duo must bond in a few short days in order to prevent the weapon from falling into the wrong hands and causing a nuclear holocaust.

Chris Rock
Chris Rock
My view: I thought this film was solid in a lot of categories. First off, the chemistry between Rock and Hopkins was really great. Even though that combination may sound a little strange at first, they really worked well together in this film. Rock was still able to use his abundant sense of humor in a few key moments, but it was not overused. Hopkins provided the perfect contrast to Rock's style. The drama of this movie weighed more heavily over the comedy, but I think they were combined perfectly.

Favorite part: What appealed the most to me about this film were the plot twists. I like surprises in movies, and it incorporated a few that didn't let me down. The film is intricate yet understandable, and those few twists keep viewers on their toes.

Least favorite part: When it got to the end of the film, predictability came back into the picture.

Recommendations: Because it shows a few representations of what a nuclear disaster might be like, and there are a lot of brutal gunfights and other combat scenes, the PG-13 rating is appropriate. I do think, though, that the pairing of Hopkins and Rock will be well received by fans of both actors.

Grade: B

-- Billy Norris, 14, will be in the ninth grade at Seminole High School, and is a former member of the Times X-Team.

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