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"Bad Boys, Bad Boys, whatcha gonna do?"
Bad Boys (DVD)
Member Name: Ataraxia
Bad Boys (DVD)
Advantages: Smith and Lawrence; Soundtrack; Miami Setting
Disadvantages: Dull bad guys; predictable plot.
These days, producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simspon and director Michael Bay are well known to viewers for their catalogue of hits, particularly in the action genre. Back in 1995 they had barely gotten off the mark; Bad Boys, however, united Will Smith (in his breakout performance) and Martin Lawrence as the two mismatched cops, in amidst of the team's soon-to-be-trademark explosion; the film became an instant hit.
If you've already seen the much more over the top (and far superior) sequel then you'll think the action in Bad Boys is much paler in comparison. Granted, the film had much lesser budget at the time, and relies on much of Smith's charm and verbal exchanges with Lawrence to carry the viewer's attention through until the end. Personally, I've never been a fan of Martin Lawrence, but, admittedly, he's quite enjoyable to watch here, mainly due to Smith intervening at the right moments. It's worth noting that many of the scenes between the two actors were improvised, which further demonstrated their on screen chemistry. In contrast, the less said about the bad guys the better- they suck... would you be scared of a soft spoken Frenchman? Well, I wasn't anyway.
Plot wise, Detectives Mike Lowrey (Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Lawrence) have to protect a murder witness (Tea Leoni), and find the big bad foreigner responsible- oh and he also happens to be the one that robbed the Police Station's $100 million worth of heroin. The bastard. To make things even harder, somewhere in the middle of it all they're forced to swap identities (if you haven't seen it then I won't spoil it for you by telling you why), which unleashes the comic potential to the film's high point. Things eventually come to justice in the end for the characters via a fantastic shoot out in the hanger, and a balls-to-the-floor car chase, which just oozes coolness.
The cinematography is frequently inventive, and makes Miami a seemingly beautiful setting (believe me, it wasn't anything like that when I visited a few years back). This is typically Brucheimer, if you've ever seen any of his latter films (i.e. Con Air, The Rock etc.), as it favours style over suspense; the score too is great for anyone who loves Hip Hop and R n' B (and maybe anyone who doesn't).
If you prefer the more "Laid back" feel of a movie then you'll no doubt enjoy the original Bad Boys more so than its big brother sequel. That's not to say Bad Boys is really a "Laid back" movie, in the sense that you're likely to show it to your grandmother while she camps out in her smock and slippers with a nice cup of tea; there's still plenty of action scenes here that permit your time wondering about things like logic and coherence. It's just, compared to the sequel, it's... well, I've told you already...
Summary: The sequel surpasses it.