Bad Boys (1995)

DVD Cover (Sony Home Entertainment Special Edition)
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Overall Rating 68%
Overall Rating
Ranked #669
...out of 22,328 movies
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Connections: Bad Boys

Marcus Burnett is a hen-pecked family man. Mike Lowry is a foot-loose and fancy free ladies' man. Both are Miami policemen, and both have 72 hours to reclaim a consignment of drugs stolen from under their station's nose. To complicate matters, in order to get the assistance of the sole witness to a murder, they have to pretend to be each other. --TMDb
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Review by Crispy
Added: August 8, 2012
Buddy cop movies are a dime a dozen, and at the end of the day, their success depends on the chemistry between the two actors. Well, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence has chemistry for days.

Marcus Burnett and Mike Lowery have been friends since they were kids. They grew up together, went to school together, and now, they've been partners in the narcotics department of the Miami Police Department for years. Still, they're basically polar opposites. Mike is the smooth-talking beneficiary of his parents' trust fund. Though he's a ladies' man who doesn't really need the paycheck, he's still passionate about his job. On the other hand, high-strung Marcus is married with kids, and while he puts just as much effort into his work, it's clear that its more a means of support than anything else. When the pair's recent heroin bust, over a hundred million dollars worth, is hijacked from the evidence vault, it's obviously an inside job, and Internal Affairs is all over it. Knowing they have to work fast to save their department, Mike calls in a favor from his friend Max to scout out anyone who's suddenly on a spending streak. A favor that gets her killed and puts her roommate, Laura, in the crosshairs of some rather unsavory individuals. After listening to Max rave about Mike, he's the only cop she'll deal with. Unfortunately, he's doing a little private investigating when she calls, so Marcus has to pretend to be his partner so they don't lose the only witness they have. All in a days work.

I'll just come out right now and say it: I absolutely loved this movie. Apparently back in 95 our explosive pal Michael Bay actually knew how to make a movie without random shit blowing up every two seconds. And you know what, it worked beautifully. Not sure when he went out and lost his damn mind, but it's a shame to see what he's reduced him to. OK, sure, the whole "mistaken identity" thing is extremely convoluted, but that's only a minor blight with minimal collateral damage to what actually makes the movie shine.

Again, Martin Lawrence and Will Smith play off each other extraordinarily well, and it's the main reason the movie was so good. We all know Will Smith's schtick, he's suave, talks fast, and shoots faster. Likewise, Lawrence has made a career playing the straight-man counterpart to these over-the-top characters, and relatively early on in their careers, both men already had both roles down pat. Plus, they made a few shifts to this common dynamic to keep things fresh. Especially with Marcus. While he's every bit the straight-laced foil for Mike's over-the-top brashness, by no means is he a "by the book" cop. He has no problem walking through an unlocked door without a warrant, and his uncommonly high body count through the investigation is a common source of arguing. Speaking of which, arguing is the biggest source of interaction between the cops. It's a cliche I know, but I've always been a sucker for some well written banter, and that's just what we have here. Even better, the two shine with all the secondary characters as well: their captain, a pair of Mexican cops, and Marcus' family all flow perfectly. And when you factor in that a lot of it was improvised, they truly deserve a tip of the hat.

The chink in the armor of all this great acting is Tea Leoni. I'm not quite sure if the problem falls more on her or Julie, but it's somewhere down the middle. For her part, Julie Mott is one of the most annoying bitches running. From her original Lowery or Bust stance to all of her bitching later on in the movie, I spent the entire movie hoping someone would smack the shit out of her. Look, I know I spent a whole paragraph raving about the characters insulting each other, but when she's talking shit about the boys' investigation when 100% of the reason it was botched was because of her being fucking stupid, it's a bit much.

As important as all this chemistry was, this is still an action movie, so by God give us some guns. It's Bay. He delivers. Granted, this isn't Commando. While we're not seeing our guys walking around dropping dozens of enemies who can't hit shit, the scenes here are just as much fun. They typically alternate between shootouts (more small arms fire than assault rifles) and fist fights where the hero takes the brunt of the damage before making a comeback. It's obviously an attempt to move things a little closer to reality, but it's still got one foot solidly in movie-land to ensure the grin won't leave your face.

Each decade seems to have their own style of action movies, and Bad Boys is every bit of the '90s style. Not quite as much rampant gunplay as the 80s, but better written characters. That's all trivia, however, all you need to know is that Bad Boys is an absolute ball. 9/10.
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