“Bad Boys” was directed by Michael Bay which also was his directorial debut. The film stars Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Tea Leoni, Tcheky Karyo, Thersa Randle, Joe Pantolioano & John Salley. This was the first film in the “Bad Boys” trilogy. Will Smith & Martin Lawrence were not the big stars that they would eventually become but in 1995 they were merely sitcom stars after successful careers as a stand up comedian and a rapper.
After the Miami Police Department was robbed by a rogue cop and a group of drug dealers led by the French madman, Fouchet (Karyo), detectives Mike Lowry (Smith) and Marcus Barnett (Lawrence) are assigned to solve the case. When one of Mike’s female informants is killed, the only witness is Julie (Leoni) calls him. However, with Mike missing in action, Captain Howard (Pantolioano) force Marcus to assume the identity of Mike and find Julie. When they meet up, Marcus and Julie are ambushed by Fouchet and his men. They escape and must help each other find out more about Fouchet. The plot thickens as Mike and Marcus switch identities. Mike the ladies man and Marcus the family man find out this might way harder than expected.
The first film was a solid action and really fit the time along with a slew of great 90s action films. Seeing Will Smith and Martin Lawrence this early in their careers before they became major movie stars is great. Their chemistry alone makes the movie worth watching. The action is good and fits the slew of top notch action movies of the 90s. Slow motion action scenes mixed with comedic performances make the film a typical buddy cop movie. These very key components of the film would later be Michael Bay’s signature filmmaking tactics. Tea Leoni’s performance is a bit over the top and annoying at times but she serves her purpose for the story.
Overall, this was a solid movie and fits in with the rest of 90s action films. Bay, Smith and Lawrence and a few others would all return for the sequel in 2003 but Bay would not return to direct the third film in 2020. Sony announced that the writers of the third would go to work on a fourth film with Smith and Lawrence returning but no official word has been confirmed.