By: Henry J. Fromage (Two Beers) –
Michael Bay gets a bad rap around these parts and with Transformers 4 through 512 on the horizon and that TMNT reboot nobody was asking for coming even sooner, I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Still, there’ll always be a special place in my heart for the guy that gave us The Rock.
Nic Cage and Sean Connery? Fuck. Yes.
I’ve mentioned my weird 80’s/90’s cinema quasi-void before, and the Bad Boys films are yet another example. Anyway, I hit play and discovered that the poster pretty much says it all. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are bickering police partners (their big difference being marital status instead of race like most of these flicks). There’s a big heist, a creepily-accented and ruthless villain, a damsel in distress, and a metric fuckton of big, beautiful Baysplosions.
This is definitely a Michael Bay film, and even the man’s detractors have to admit that he has a talent for capturing striking images. He also has a talent for directing muscular, visceral action sequences, a talent that’s been masked in recent years by his infatuation with seizure-inducing quick cuts and an obsession with blue and orange filters (which are also used here, but much more subtly).
This movie is also notable for catapulting its leads in to the A-list. Judging by what they went on to do with their careers you may assume that Will Smith is the alpha star here, but he’s surprisingly one-note, relegated in a lot of ways to the straight man, comic foil role, although the ladies will be happy to hear he runs in bare-chested, slow-motion glory for what seems like ten minutes at one point.
You could hear corsets popping for miles around
Okay, so I must be talking about Tea Leoni then, right? Sure, she’s both hot and funny in this, but nope. John Salley cameo? Awesome, but no. This is the Martin Lawrence show.
As wrong-headed as that sounds in this day and age, Lawrence absolutely owns this movie. He has the best lines, the larger dramatic arc, and arguably the best fight scenes. And he handles it all with aplomb. If I was walking out of the theater in 1995, I would have sworn that he was the one whose career would explode. What a damn tragedy. I guess what we’ve learned at this point is that if you’re a rising black star, one: hire a good accountant and listen to him and two: stay as far away from fat suits as possible.
Sure, it’s dumb at times. Sure, the plot is paint by numbers and driven by characters making bad decisions, but honestly, what buddy cop movie in the last 20 years is much different?
Sure, there are more homages (rip-offs?) in this than an Edgar Wright movie.
I don’t particularly care. Now back up, put the gun down, and give me a pack of Tropical Fruit Bubblelicious.
And some skittles.
A damn entertaining buddy cop riff that’s close to as pleasing as big, dumb action films get.
Take a Drink: for every hot Miami establishing shot
Take a Drink: for every fast-paced insult war that breaks out
Take a Drink: every time Marcus’s marital problems come into play
Do a Shot: when they actually say/sing poorly “Bad Boys”
Do a Shot: whenever you hear “Be Like Mike”
Do a Shot: “And some skittles”