Years ago, Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer produced some pretty violent action flicks, Beverly Hills Cop among them. Then they decided to prove they could make a little movie for a change, and gave the world Dangerous Minds. But just before succumbing to the notion that a little movie can make boffo box office, the boys dished out Bad Boys, a rock ‘em, sock ‘em, by-the-numbers cop thrilla with two entertaining actors doing battle with a script that has been riddled with cliches instead of bullets.
Marcus (Martin Lawrence) is a family man. He’s got a gorgeous wife and three bouncy kids. You may recognize the character as similar to Danny Glover’s in all the Lethal Weapon films, except Marcus isn’t old. And Mike (Will Smith) is a womanizer, a fast-living, fast-driving, fast-everything cop who often doesn’t do what he’s told. The actors are already playing a bit against type, as Lawrence is normally a profanity-spewing, diatribe-ejecting comedian and Smith is sort of a hip-hop version of the Beaver. To confuse the discerning viewer even more, the duo switches identities in order to protect the obligatory key witness (Tea Leoni). So Marcus becomes Mike (reluctantly) and Mike becomes Marcus (dragging his feet all the way).
In the interests of plot development, this is as compliacted as it gets, folks. So just sit back and enjoy the explosions. The storyline has been cribbed from every cop movie since The French Connection, including that movie’s famous car chase scene. What Bad Boys lacks in originality, it more than makes up for in charisma and action.
Bad Boys: C+