Bad Boys (1995)

In the exaggerated universe of big-budget action, comic timing is
everything.  Well-timed jokes between "buddy cops," for example, provide
the buffer against a subject matter that's, frankly, quite brutal.

Good comic chemistry also overrides structural flaws.  Formula not
working?  Who cares?  If the audience laughs, it's a hit.  The best
entries in the "buddy cop" genre have practiced this by teaming actors
who can be tough *and* funny.  Nolte and Murphy in 48 HRS.  Gibson and
Glover in LETHAL WEAPON.  Even Schwarzenegger and Belushi in the
underappreciated RED HEAT (1988).

In BAD BOYS, comic Martin Lawrence and rapper Will Smith team-up to act
tough.  They play wise-cracking Miami narcotic cops who have 72 hours to
catch the creeps that burgled their headquarters.  The high-tech robbers
stole a stash of heroin-- from the boy's recent "career bust"- and the
force has three days to save face before the feds move in.

The formula isn't tweaked *too* far:  Lawrence is the hard-working
family man, while Smith is the single, rich kid with the $100K Porsche.
The two are best-buddies, though, and their rapport is *easily* the best
thing about this film.  Just watch them breeze through a sitcom subplot
that has each one impersonating the other.

BAD BOYS marks the return of producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer
(BEVERLY HILLS COP).  To direct their super-slick product, they hired
newcomer Michael Bay.  He's from the world of music-video and it shows.
BAD BOYS has more style than READY TO WEAR, but there's no punch to the
plot.  The director overpowers the narrative with so much splash and
flash that nothing has any impact.  How can you feel a rush from so much

The story doesn't make much sense, either.  Though vaguely believable at
first, BAD BOYS spirals toward absurdity until it reaches a kitchen-sink
finale that only a fan of John Woo could love.  When everyone converges
on a airplane hanger-- hey, it was shown in the previews!-- it's every
stunt double for themselves.

BOTTOM LINE:  Funny, but too slick to be terribly rousing.  Next up:
              Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson in DIE HARD WITH A

Grade: B-

Copyright 1995 Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

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