johnlink ranks BAD BOYS (1995)

Several thoughts go into this pre-jump intro. 1) I can’t believe BAD BOYS is 15 years old. 2) I must have watched this movie thirty times in high school. 3) I have been both hugely critical of Michael Bay (see: Transformers 2) and very complimentary (see: The Rock). This film would fall mostly into the latter category.

I watched BAD BOYS (1995) on 5.5.10. It was, probably, my fortieth or fiftieth viewing of the film. TRAILER HERE

I loved this movie as a teenager. I dug the witty dialogue between Martin Lawrence and Will Smith. Seeing it now, some of it reads like scripted inanity. But more often then not, it works very well. I still laugh out loud at more scenes than I roll my eyes at. Also, it has aged decently. Will Smith looks young, but he’s still the same cool, charismatic Will Smith.

In a lot of ways this film IS the 90s. It has the Tarantinoesque non-sequitur dialogue. It has plenty of over-the-top violence. We get some homophobia. We get some racism (one Arabic shopowner says “I am from the middle east. I kill before. I kill again!”).  It has the Bad Boys themes song. And, most tellingly, here is an action-comedy willing to have an R Rating. I mean, much of the hype around this film was the Fresh Prince and Martin Lawrence getting together and swearing a bunch. Oh, and we even get John Salley of the Detroit Pistons.

There are scenes in this film which are unquestionably Bay. The opening theft montage is later repeated in tone in THE ROCK when Hummel breaks into the military base. The chase scene around Miami looks a heck of a lot like the Hummer chase scene in the ROCK as well. We get plenty of slow-motion. We get some weak musical cues in the comedic scenes and some overly dramatic musical cues to try and aid emotion.

There are issues with the overdubbing. There are maybe a dozen lines clearly added in post-production. This should be seamless, but the sound of the voices is not organic. Clearly they were recorded later in a studio and not correctly leveled.

What works about this film is that we really like these characters. Smith and Lawrence have great chemistry as partners. Their boss is played perfectly by Joey Pantoliano. Most of the stuff with the material witness/female lead, Tea Leoni, works. Though some of it is overwritten.

The writing, in general, here is pretty solid. The dialogue is great, and some of the ideas in the plot (i.e. the mistaken identity stuff and the marriage stuff) give this film a uniqueness. But the story, overall, has many, many holes. There are comedic scenes which hold up action too long so a joke can be had and there are certainly some cheesy moments. But this is a fun, fun movie. I created my ranking system for movies like this, in a way. This is not, in any way whatsoever, a good film. But it is a GREAT movie.


FILM: 4; MOVIE: 9; ACTING: 6; WRITING: 4 (what is this?)



~ by johnlink00 on May 5, 2010.

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