Bad Boys (1995 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Michael Bay|
|Story by||George Gallo|
|Music by||Mark Mancina|
|Edited by||Christian Wagner|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Box office||$141.4 million|
Bad Boys is a 1995 American buddy cop action-comedy film directed by Michael Bay, produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer and starring Martin Lawrence and Will Smith as two narcotic Miami detectives Marcus Burnett and Mike Lowrey. The first in the Bad Boys franchise, the film was followed by a sequel, Bad Boys II (2003).
Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) and Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) are best friends and detectives in the narcotics division of the Miami Police Department. One night, $100 million of Mafia seized heroin is stolen from a secure police vault. This is a major blow to Burnett and Lowrey, because it was the biggest drug bust of their careers. Internal Affairs suspects that it was an inside job with corrupted police officers and warns the rest of the department that if they do not recover the drugs in five days, the narcotics division will be shut down.
Lowrey asks one of his informants and ex-girlfriend Maxine "Max" Logan (Karen Alexander) to look for people who are newly rich and therefore suspects. She gets herself and her best friend Julie Mott (Téa Leoni) hired as escorts by Eddie Domínguez (Emmanuel Xuereb), a former crooked cop and part of the coup. His boss, French drug kingpin Fouchet (Tchéky Karyo) and his henchmen Casper, Ferguson and Noah Trafficante do not want the coup to be endangered by outsider members who know nothing of the deal. Therefore, Fouchet is forced to shoot Max and then has Ferguson kills Dominguez. After witnessing the murder, Julie manages to escape over the roof.
Although she has not met Lowrey, because of Max's relationship with him, Julie will only trust and deal with Lowrey. However, he is away when she contacts the police about the murders, threatening to run if she does not speak to Lowrey. Captain Conrad Howard (Joe Pantoliano) forces Burnett to impersonate Lowrey to get Julie to cooperate. Marcus manages to convince Julie that he is Mike Lowrey and together they escape from Julie's apartment after a shootout during which Marcus manages to kill Raji, one of Fouchet's cronies. In order to continue the deception, Burnett and Lowrey switch lives. Burnett tells his family he is going to Cleveland for another drug case, leaving Lowrey to stay with them. Burnett then moves into Lowrey's apartment with Julie and her dogs. In Julie's presence, Burnett poses as Lowrey while Lowrey poses as Burnett.
The investigation proceeds with Lowrey and Burnett calling in on their old informants, including Jojo (Michael Imperioli), a former chemist and drug convict who now works at a tire shop. Later, Julie identifies one of Max's killers (Noah Trafficante), while looking through mug shots. The two cops then head off to Club Hell, one of his known hangouts. Unbeknownst to them, Julie has followed, eager to dish out revenge on Max's killers. Though the criminals spot them first, after a brief fight between Marcus and Casper and a car chase which ends with Noah getting killed by Lowrey, all three manage to escape. The incident is caught on camera by a news helicopter. The subsequent report is later seen by Burnett's family.
At Club Hell they discover barrels of ether, which Fouchet is using to cut and refine the heroin, so Lowrey and Burnett decide to visit Jojo again. After an aggressive and convincing good cop-bad cop act from Lowrey and Burnett, Jojo tells them the location of the chemist who is cutting the stolen drugs. After staking out his house, they follow him to where Fouchet is hiding the drugs, but unbeknownst to them, Fouchet spots them with a pair of binoculars. They return to Lowrey's apartment with Julie, where they are confronted by Burnett's wife who blows their cover, causing Julie to try to run. Fouchet and his gang arrive at Lowrey's apartment and kidnap Julie. Because of this, Internal Affairs reassigns all members of the narcotics division, effectively shutting them down but Captain Howard delays the order to give Lowrey and Burnett two more hours to get Julie and the drugs back. They try again to break into Eddie's police database profile, by asking a convict "computer whiz" in exchange for his freedom. Once he gets into his profile they then realize why the administrative girl, Francine, had told them she could not get into it: she appears in the system as Eddie's girlfriend. Lowrey and Burnett confront her and she admits to having been blackmailed into being a mole and passing on information. However she feels sorry and agrees to give the mobile number she uses to contact him, which they immediately use to locate the forthcoming drug deal.
Burnett, Lowrey and two other detectives (Nestor Serrano and Julio Oscar Mechoso) of the Miami P.D. organize a plan to stop the criminals from killing Julie and selling the drugs. A final shoot-out erupts between the group of cops and the drug dealers at Opa Locka Airport. Burnett is shot in the leg after saving Julie from Fouchet but manages to kill Casper by shooting some nearby barrels of ether which blow up Casper and some nearby thugs. After Mike kills Ferguson, he attempts to catch Fouchet, who shoots Lowrey while escaping the building, which is now on fire, but he is rescued by Burnett and Julie who left to get Lowrey's car.
Burnett, Lowrey and Julie chase Fouchet's Shelby Cobra AC 427 in Mike's Porsche 911 Turbo. Burnett bumps Fouchet into a concrete barrier but he manages to escape the wreckage. Attempting to run, Fouchet is shot in the leg by Lowrey. Fouchet, knowing he is beaten, tries to goad Lowrey into killing him, which he almost does as revenge for Max's murder until Burnett prevents it. While on the ground, Fouchet then pulls out a concealed weapon and aims at Burnett but seeing the reflection on his partner's forehead, Lowrey spins and shoots Fouchet numerous times, killing him.
Later, after Marcus and Mike profess their brotherly love for one another and their relief in surviving the gun fight, Marcus handcuffs Julie and Mike's hands together and hobbles away hoping for some much needed "quality time" with his wife so he could reconcile with her for his actions.
- Martin Lawrence as Detective Sergeant Marcus Burnett
- Will Smith as Detective Sergeant Mike Lowrey
- Téa Leoni as Julie Mott
- Tchéky Karyo as Fouchet
- Vic Manni as Ferguson
- Frank John Hughes as Casper
- Joe Pantoliano as Captain Conrad Howard
- Nestor Serrano as Detective Sanchez
- Julio Oscar Mechoso as Detective Ruiz
- Theresa Randle as Theresa Burnett
- Ralph Gonzales as Kuni
- Marc Macaulay as Noah Trafficante
- Emmanuel Xuereb as Eddie Dominguez
- John Salley as Fletcher
- Marg Helgenberger as Captain Alison Sinclair
- Michael Imperioli as Jojo
- Karen Alexander as Max Logan
- Saverio Guerra as Chet
- Chris Mitchum as Seargent Copperfield
- Shaun Toub as store clerk
- Kim Coates as Carjacker
- Kevin Corrigan as Elliot
- Lisa Boyle as Girl Deco
- Ed Amatrudo as Ether van Boss
Principal photography began on June 27, 1994, at the Dade Tire company near downtown Miami, the city chosen to replace the original New York locale. Filming continued throughout the area, including South Beach's Tides Hotel, the Mediterranean Biltmore Hotel, the Dade County Courthouse and a multimillion-dollar estate on a private island. The second floor of downtown Miami's Alfred DuPont building was converted into a police station, a freighter on the Miami River into a drug lab. Bad Boys' climactic scenes were filmed at the Opa-Locka Airport. Production wrapped on August 31.
In the film's early stages of development, Simpson and Bruckheimer initially envisioned Dana Carvey and Jon Lovitz in the roles. When the film was written for Carvey and Lovitz, the original title for Bad Boys was Bulletproof Hearts. Arsenio Hall turned down the role of Lowrey and cites that choice as the worst mistake he has ever made. The role eventually went to Smith.
Both Lawrence and Smith were starring in their own hit TV shows, Martin and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, when filming Bad Boys. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air even references the film in an episode. In the season 6, episode 20, called "I Stank Horse", Nicholas "Nicky" Banks tells Will that his parents will not let him watch Bad Boys, to which Will replies, "Bad Boys, huh? What'cha gonna do?"
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Director Bay did not like the script and often engaged Smith and Lawrence in discussions about how the dialogue and scenes could improve. He often allowed them to improvise while the cameras were rolling. He secretly told Smith to call Lawrence a bitch before the car scene. The whole "two bitches in the sea" was improvised, as was Martin's comment when Leoni called him gay.
The scene in the convenience store, wherein the clerk puts a gun to Burnett and Lowrey's heads and yells, telling them to "Freeze, mother bitches!", is also improvised. They came up with: "No, you freeze, bitch! Now back up, put the gun down and get me a pack of Tropical Fruit Bubbalicious". "And some Skittles."
According to Bay in the DVD commentary, at the end of the film when Mike and Marcus are recuperating, Mike says "I love you, man." Bay claims that Smith refused to say the line, causing the director and actor to argue back and forth over the line. Bay wanted Smith to say the line as he felt it summed up the friendship between the cops. After their argument had lasted for half of the day's shoot and much of the crew was ready to pack up, a fed up Bay told Smith to do whatever he wanted, after which Smith changed his mind and agreed to say the line.
The film was commercially successful, grossing $141,407,024 worldwide — $65,807,024 in North America and $75,600,000 overseas. However, critical reception was generally mixed. Film review aggregating website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 43% of 46 sampled critics gave the film positive reviews and that it got a rating average of 4.9 out of 10 with the consensus: "Bad Boys stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence have enjoyable chemistry; unfortunately, director Michael Bay too often drowns it out with set pieces and explosions in place of an actual story". Most of the criticisms focused on the fact that despite the production of the film and the ability of the stars, the script did not diverge from the generic plot of a cop-buddy genre film, instead opting for repeated use of formulaic scenes.
Roger Ebert in his video review of the film on At the Movies noted that despite the highly energetic approach of the two lead actors and the visual style of the film, their acting talents were mostly "new wine in old bottles". He illustrated that many of the elements featured in the film including both the plot and characters had been recycled from other films, particularly those from the Lethal Weapon and Beverly Hills Cop series—recurrent stock-characters, police detective clichés and over-long action scenes. In describing the archetypal cop-buddy genre action scene adhered to by the film, Ebert noted "Whenever a movie like this starts to drag, there's always one infallible solution; have a car-chase and then blow something up real good."
Gene Siskel in his appraisal of the film said that he had lost interest in the film after its introduction due to the very formulaic approach, and repeated Roger Ebert's criticism that the talents of the lead actors were wasted; suggesting that the production company did not spend significant time producing a script which would be suitable for their talents.
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- "BAD BOYS (18)". British Board of Film Classification. May 3, 1995. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- "Bad Boys (1995) - Box Office Mojo". boxofficemojo.com.
- Wolff, Craig (December 31, 1992). "IN THE DRESSING ROOM WITH DANA CARVEY; Every Night Live?". The New York Times. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
- "Bad Boys (1995)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Archived from the original on July 30, 2010. Retrieved August 12, 2010.
- "Bad Boys (1995)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Archived from the original on July 31, 2010. Retrieved August 12, 2010.
- McCarthy, Todd (April 3, 1995). "Bad Boys review". Variety. Reed Business Information. Retrieved August 12, 2010.
- Ebert, Roger., Siskel, Gene., 1995 Bad Boys Review [Internet Video] Available at http://bventertainment.go.com/tv/buenavista/atm/reviews.html?sec=1&subsec=1313 Buena-Vista Television
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