Two reckless Miami cops must protect a murder witness and track
down a case of stolen heroin that's about to go on the market.
Bad Boys (1995)
Directed by Michael Bay
Written by Michael Barrie, Jim Mulholland, Doug Richardson
Starring Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Téa Leoni,
Tchéky Karyo, Joe Pantoliano, Theresa Randle
Bad Boys was the big mid-90's hit that turned Will Smith into the hottest action star on the planet. He followed this with monster hits like Independence Day, Men in Black, and Enemy of the State. Martin Lawrence, on the other hand, was in the midst of a successful sitcom with Martin, but Bad Boys propelled him to a successful film career for several years, until he disappeared off the face of the earth, only to reappear for Bad Boys for Life. But this was also the directorial debut of Michael Bay, future telephoto swooper and 'splosion connoisseur. You could tell all three were destined for great things in Hollywood, as the performances and the direction are pretty damn good. It's the film's generic and predictable story that brings it down.
Smith and Lawrence play Miami detectives Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett, lifelong friends and pains in each others' asses. When a case of heroin is stolen from police lockup, Lowrey and Burnett are put on the case, since it was their initial bust. But things get complicated when a friend of Lowrey's is killed by the goons, and the only witness is her best friend Julie (Leoni), a neurotic, irritating pain who believes Burnett to be Lowrey, and vice versa. They have to keep up the charade or else Julie will skip town. It's an unnecessary layer that's just confusing for first-time viewers. Probably would've made more sense to do this gag in a sequel. Julie just about ruins the movie, but Smith and Lawrence's chemistry saves it. It's no wonder they did three of these.
Bad Boys hasn't aged all that well, and apart from the action sequences, there's a few uncomfortable, slightly homophobic moments and a generic, crime plot that just doesn't drag you in. This is a franchise that was built on the chemistry of its leads, which is why Michael Bay saw fit to sequelize. Like most people, I'm a sucker for big explosions and car chases when it comes to my action movies. As expected, this movie has no issues there.