Bad Boys (1995)
Bad Boys, Bad Boys. Watcha Gonna Do?
You know you drive almost slow enough to drive Miss Daisy - Mike Lowrey
In many ways "Bad Boys" is stereotypical Michael Bay, it has a slim storyline and then lots of big action scenes, but it does have something else and that is the pairing of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. And it's a good job it does because whilst Michael Bay's flare for delivering those big action scenes goes some way to disguise both the slim and frankly unoriginal storyline it is the banter, the antagonistic bickering and comedy of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence which raises "Bad Boys" up to the level of being entertaining.
After $100 million of drugs is stolen from a police evidence room detectives Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence - Wild Hogs) and Mike Lowery (Will Smith - Six Degrees of Separation) are ordered to track down the drugs and the criminals before internal affairs gets wind of the mishap. But when one of Lowery's friends gets murdered by the criminals they find themselves also having to protect a witness, Julie (Téa Leoni - Wyatt Earp) who witnessed the murder. And to complicate matter's further she believes that the stressed out Burnett is ultra smooth Lowery and so Lowery has to keep up the pretence and live with Burnett's wife.
Funnily "Bad Boys" starts well with criminals staging an audacious raid on a Police Departments evidence safe to get their hands on a ton of drugs. It's clever, brilliantly executed and raises the expectations as to what will follow. Well those expectations don't last for long because "Bad Boys" soon falls into a very routine storyline about a couple of cops, a witness and of course bad guys who want to silence them all. There are a few twists, the fact that one cop has to pretend to be his partner causing stress and family issues makes it a bit more fun, but the underlying storyline about cops and bad guys is no different to 100 other cop movies. As such don't expect the big outcome to be anything other than what you expect.
But director Michael Bay manages to disguise some of the issues with the unoriginal storyline by delivering big action. From the opening robbery right through to the big final shootout the action gets bigger, often better and frankly borders on the preposterous which in a way doesn't matter. "Bad Boys" is certainly not a movie to watch if you want authentic action but if you enjoy the over the top shoot outs, the fast action and the big explosions then it will be right up your street.
What does raise Bad Boys" from being just another cop, buddy movie is the pairing of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence and the comedy which they bring to the table. Both are likable in their individual ways with Will Smith oozing charm as the smooth Mike Lowery whilst Martin Lawrence is funny as the harassed Marcus Burnett but it is the chemistry between them which is so entertaining. The constant arguing, the put downs and frankly a selection of expletive riddled dialogue which for some may be offensive frankly gets funnier and funnier the longer the movie goes on. Think Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in the "Lethal Weapon" movies and then turn the dial to 11.
Aside from Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, Téa Leoni is seriously hot as witness Julie and manages to turn what is a run of the mill character into something more entertaining by making her feisty. Plus Joe Pantoliano puts in an entertaining comedy performance as the stressed out Captain Howard, another very stereotypical yet comical character.
The thing is with all the characters is that they are familiar, every single one of them has been seen before in one cop movie or another but in "Bad Boys" the emphasis is almost as much on the comedy as it is the action and drama and as such the characters are a little larger than life. The easiest way to think of "Bad Boys" is to take "Lethal Weapon" dumb down the storyline and then turn the dial up on everything else.
What this all boils down to is that "Bad Boys" is an entertaining movie full of big action sequences and comedy that will appeal to those who want to just watch an in your face over the top movie. It doesn't have anything close to being original when it comes to storyline or characters, but the partnership of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence works making it a lot more entertaining than it probably should be.
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