Pay Off 2

There are plenty of guns, fast cars, and girls in skimpy clothes; sadly there is zero character development.

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I've not seen the original Pay Off, released in 2003 in France, but by all accounts it was an unsuccessful attempt by the director Giles Paquet-Brenner to take the format of Lethal Weapon, douse it with Tarantino pop-violence petrol and set it alight with cool French hip-hop. It was a critical failure but made acting stars out of Stomy Bugsy, who plays the violent stern Parisian cop Gómez, and Titoff, who is the relaxed, cool partner Tavares from Marseilles. Pay Off was a poor homage to 1970s Blaxploitation pictures in which those from the wrong side of the tracks are praised and the cops, apart from our shady leading duo, are idiots. Because buddy-buddy cop films fare such a cinema staple, it doesn't matter much whether the original film has been seen or not, it's pretty clear from the start what's going on and Bad Boys is definitely a model for these excitable cops. There are plenty of guns, fast cars, girls in skimpy clothes and funky music; sadly there is zero character development and a very bad plot packed with second-rate jokes. Tavares's uncle has died and his will and testament reveals that Tavares's dad, whom he thought dead, is a criminal locked away in jail. The cop is also in line for a huge inheritance if he can find the precious blue stone of Manaus. But Tavares also has his own secret that he's been hiding from his own work partner; he's been secretly seeing Gomez's sister Gina (Noemie Lenoir), who is now pregnant. But the plot is only a pretext to send the cops there separate ways into increasing ludicrous, implausible situations until we return to the opening scene in which Gómez shoots Tavares. The one saving grace is the formidable soundtrack that is a joyride of great tunes.