Starring: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence,Theresa Randle, Téa Leoni, Joe Pantoliano
Directed by: Michael Bay
Written By: Michael Barrie, Jim Mulholland, Doug Richardson
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 1 hr 58 min
There are movies that are big dumb fun, and then there’s just plain dumb. Bad Boys is the latter in my opinion. Though I will admit it’s a fine line between the two so it’s conceivable this film has some fans.
Micheal Bay’s first full length feature acts like a trailer for the rest of his career. Filled with the ‘Bay-isms’ we’ve come to know and occasionally love. Scantily dressed women, over the top characters, gratuitous slow motion shots and huge explosions. Except that in future Bay productions, this signature combination of elements does at least get delivered with some measure of control. In Bad Boys, it’s just a mess. A sloppily edited jumble of obnoxious shouting, stupid plot developments, and no real connection to anything in the real world.
Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) are possibly the worst cops in movie history! They come across a dead body, and immediately start disturbing the crime scene. Picking up the victims wallet without gloves. Moving parts of the body to uncover blood covered documents. I’m no expert, but I’ve watched a couple of CSI episodes and I don’t think you’re supposed to do that!
The two geniuses also get a witness to protect, which somehow develops into a convoluted plot structure in which the guys have to pretend to be each other! It makes no sense at all! It’s also inconceivable their witness, Julie Mott (Téa Leoni) would fall for this for as long as she does.
This film has THREE people credited for the script. THREE! But to be fair only one of them (Doug Richardson) had actually co-written a major motion picture before Bad Boys, and that was Die Hard 2. Michael Barrie and Jim Mulholland wrote for late night comedy television before contributing to the Bad Boy screenplay.
So a music video director, and a couple of late night comedy TV writers get together to make a buddy cop movie. Was anyone surprised that Bad Boy’s ended up the way it did?
As I said before, it’s a fine line between being bad, and being so bad it’s good. In my opinion Bad Boy’s isn’t bad in the right way. But if you’re in the mood for mindless over the top action with two goofy comic actors playing cop – then this is the movie for you. If you’re old enough, may I suggest you have a couple of drinks before you watch this. Maybe more than a couple. It’ll help you overlook the film’s many flaws!
The film is a sloppy mess of heavily filtered shots, combined with slow-motion, quick editing, and hand-held camera craziness. At times the action is hard to follow. A regular DVD or streaming show on your TV will work.
Worst element for me:
The entire contrived plot development that somehow forces our lead characters to pretend to be each other in front of their witness. It was completely unnecessary to begin with, and lasted way too long.