Monday, June 18, 2018

Movie Review: "Bad Boys" (1995)

Director: Michael Bay
Year: 1995
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 59 minutes

Narcotics cops Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett are tasked with protecting a murder witness who can link the perpetrator to the crime they are investigating.
"My shit always works sometimes!" (Image Source)
This is it, the movie that started it all. "Bad Boys" is the feature film debut of director Michael Bay, who would go on to direct films like "Pearl Harbor," "Armageddon" and almost a half dozen "Transformers" movies. Bay mostly made music videos before directing this movie. The film stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence as narcotics cops Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett. A police evidence storage facility is broken into, and millions of dollars in heroin gets stolen. Internal Affairs believes it might be an inside job. As pressure mounts from higher-ups in the department, Lowrey and Burnett are tasked with finding the drugs, though little evidence was left by the perpetrators. The two cops catch a break when a woman witnesses a murder that can be linked to the drug thieves. Now, Mike and Marcus must keep her alive long enough for them to make an arrest and have her testify.
" I don't know why you're going home to your wife. You got shot in the leg, your dick probably don't even work." (Image Source)
Will Smith and Martin Lawrence were both huge stars in the mid 90's. Both men had television shows and were extremely hot commodities. Leave it to Michael Bay to make these two comedic stars completely uninteresting and bland in "Bad Boys." As usual, both actors play characters who act just like themselves and stick to their tried and true schtick. Smith as Lowrey gets to be the playboy trust fund kid who has a way with the ladies and only works as a cop because he enjoys it. Lawrence as Burnett gets to be the sex-starved married trope of a man who lives paycheck to paycheck, so it's safe to say it's not a stretch for either of them. A scenario is set up where the two are forced to switch places and pretend to be the other person, which is supposed to bring some "Freaky Friday"-style laughs, though we never really found ourselves so much as chuckling. Both of these actors are very capable of offering funny, charming performances, but everything in this film is just so flat, generic, and overloaded with cliches that their stars don't get the chance to shine. There are two major female parts in the movie, played by Téa Leoni and Theresa Randle, but their only purpose seems to be to make the male characters lives more difficult or to be damsels in need of rescue.

The "Bad Boys" narrative is all over the place, and it hardly makes a lick of sense. The criminals do completely illogical things like kidnapping people they don't have to kidnap, blabbing their plans to characters they don't have to tell, killing people when they don't need to kill, and not killing the people they should kill the most. The story gets progressively worse and more irritating the longer it goes on.
"You know you drive almost slow enough to drive Miss Daisy." (Image Source)
"Bad Boys" proves Michael Bay hasn't changed much over the years. Any movie he makes that is actually enjoyable is more because of dumb luck rather than purposeful, genuine skill. The only talent Bay has consistently shown is an ability to try to pack his films with actions scenes, over-the-top explosions, and bro humor. Somehow, he continually manages to make all of this damn boring. We have to wonder if Bay was born with this ability or if he took classes on how to make messes. This film provided a rocky start for his career, and though some people really enjoy it, we found it to be not much better than mediocre.

My Rating: 4.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 4.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.8/10
RT Rating: 42%
Do we recommend this movie: No.

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