Bad Boys

A standard action flick thanks to some flaws, however, just the start of the enjoyable ride overall for Bay, Smith, and Lawrence fans; read on.

Bad Boys was director Michael Bay’s debut project to get him away from music or playboy profile videos and into mainstream films. Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, and Tea Leoni ended up as cast members joining him for the experience. The plot is a mish-mash of action driven buddy cops facing off against heroin thieves and dealers, while protecting a murder witness and dealing with an identity switching ruse amongst themselves.

Originally the script was written to star comedians Jon Lovitz and Dana Garvey of Saturday Night Live fame, before getting a massive overhaul, which helped confuse the creative process for many. Michael Bay himself has made statements involving that the screenplay had to be updated for two black men to play the roles and that the entire shoot was more of a make it up as you go along shooting process. Yet, what was surely a stressful nightmare of a project to step into, ended up yielding successful results at the box office.

Independence Day is considered by most as Will Smith’s break out role, however Bad Boys came first and showed some of his talents for sure. Martin Lawrence, like Smith, was more known for his television work however he too proved his acting chops. The duo worked the chemistry to perfection with great comedic timing, which carried on into the sequel. Tea Leoni played the witness in need of protection and her playfully seductive character laying out on the bed is quite a memorable cinematic moment for teens who caught this film, though it did not turn into a sex romp. Okay, maybe I am just speaking for myself.  Her nasally complaint and such were not the strongest for a character, but once again she coped with the material and pulled it off fine.

The plot seemed to borrow a little bit of this and that from several genres and there is no lack on action film cliché throughout. First time feature director Bay handled the fast sports cars and action strongly, however  in mood setting and story he went a bit astray several times. One effect I always like to point out, and Bay upon listening to the Dvd commentary apparently enjoys as well, is the use of fog machines. Fog is used to help set tone and moods sometimes, but on Bad Boys when being used within the apartment environment of Smith’s character, it appeared that the on button got stuck and if you watch the background the place appears to be on fire as opposed to being subtly given atmosphere.

In comparison to Bay’s future works and the sequel for Bad Boys itself, this movie pales in comparison. However, for what it was when it came out, Bay and crew took what could have been a Hollywood disaster and made it entertaining.

A project that all involved should feel proud to have on their resumes, aside from being a bit dated in story and dragging, a stand up, set-up piece for several worthy careers.

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