Bad Boys is more influential than I realized. It’s the directorial debut of Michael Bay and the film that made Martin Lawrence & Will Smith major movie stars. You know it’s dated when Lawrence gets top billing over Smith. Both actors were popular in the 90’s for their respective TV shows Martin and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Lawrence showed off his comedy skills, while Smith proved himself as an action star. Along with Michael Bay making his signature style obvious from the beginning. It’s a stylized action movie with immature jokes, sexy women, and just the right amount of explosions.
Bad Boys follows Miami cops Marcus Burnett and Mike Lowrey. Burnett is the married family man who does things by the book and Lowrey is the single womanizer with a death wish. Only Joe Pantoliano can make things more 90’s as their police Captain. The action kicks in when their narcotics division is in trouble of getting shut down unless they recover $100 million worth of mafia heroine. Téa Leoni ends up being the prototypical hot woman when she witnesses a crime. Julie is a little insufferable, but it does lead to the hilarious, if pointless decision to have Mike & Marcus switch places.
Bad Boys is almost a carbon copy of Lethal Weapon or other buddy cop movies, but Lawrence & Smith make it a guilty pleasure. Since most of their dialogue was improvised. My personal favorite being the “Tropical Fruit Bubblicious” line. It can get overly R rated at times, but it’s more subtle than later Bay films. In the end, Bad Boys is exactly the kind of dumb action blockbuster Michael Bay would excel at. Bad Boys, Bad Boys, whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?
Followed by: Bad Boys II