Should I Watch..? 'Bad Boys'

Updated on February 20, 2020
Benjamin Cox profile image

Benjamin has been reviewing films for sixteen years and has seen more action movies than he should probably admit to!

Poster for the film
Poster for the film | Source

What's the Big Deal?

Bad Boys is an action comedy film released in 1995 and was directed by Michael Bay, the first feature film he directed. The film stars Martin Lawrence and Will Smith as two mismatched cops on the trail of a murderous drug baron in Miami played by Tchéky Karyo. The film is typical of Bay's directorial style with a distinctive visual style, lots of fast editing, and a whole load of explosions. While the film received a mixed reception from critics, it was financially successful with global earnings around $141 million and led to a mini-revival in the fortunes of producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer. It also led to a sequel - Bad Boys II - being released in 2003 and a third film finally getting released in early 2020.


3 stars for Bad Boys

What's It About?

Clean-living Miami detective Marcus Burnett and wannabe playboy Mike Lowrey are called in to investigate the apparent theft of $100 million of heroin recovered from the Mafia that was taken from a secure police vault. Internal Affairs suspects that the theft is an inside job and threatens to shut down the entire department unless the drugs can be recovered in five days. With Captain Conrad Howard breathing down their necks, Burnett and Lowrey arrange for an informant - Maxine Logan - to keep an eye open for anyone newly rich.

Maxine and her friend Julie end up employed by former crooked cop Eddie Dominguez as escorts but without warning, Eddie's kingpin boss Fouchet arrives with his henchmen. Murdering both Maxine and Eddie in cold blood, Fouchet fails to notice Julie escaping and she heads straight for the precinct, hoping to be put into protective custody. But Julie will only talk to Mike and with Mike suddenly indisposed, Marcus attempts to win her trust...


Main Cast

Will Smith
DS Mike Lowrey
Martin Lawrence
DS Marcus Burnett
Téa Leoni
Julie Mott
Tchéky Karyo
Joe Pantoliano
Capt. Conrad Howard

Technical Info

Michael Bay
Michael Barrie, Jim Mulholland & Doug Richardson
Running Time
119 minutes
Release Date (UK)
16th June, 1995
Action, Comedy, Thriller
* story by George Gallo
Proof that three can indeed go into two...
Proof that three can indeed go into two... | Source

What's to Like?

You remember the TV show Miami Vice, right? Of course you do - beautiful women, amazing scenery, lots of colour and style, plenty of sports cars and so on. This is the movie equivalent—the film oozes glamour and style over anything else, in much the same way the 2001 Ocean's Eleven remake did. Things like story and characterisation just slow the film down so it's a rapid-fire procession of action scenes that blow you away at their sheer extravagance. Bay is a known pyromaniac and when coupled with producers Simpson and Bruckheimer, it wasn't a question of whether there would be explosions but simply how many.

It's not just about the action, though. Smith and Lawrence are a genuinely winning pair, proving to be as adapt at comedic interplay as they are shooting their way around a case. It's nice to see a buddy-cop film with actual chemistry - the only other example I can think of to get things right between the two leads is the increasingly venerable Lethal Weapon. Pantoliano is also good as the comic-relief captain at the station while Leoni and Karyo give their fairly one-dimensional roles plenty of bite.

Fun Facts

  • The film was originally titled "Bulletproof Hearts" and was written for comedians Dana Carvey (of Wayne's World fame) and Jo Lovitz. But during a trip to Las Vegas to celebrate their forthcoming work, Carvey was horrified at the antics of notorious party animal Don Simpson and later pulled out of the project altogether which meant the film had to be re-thought out.
  • Bay didn't like the script very much and encouraged Smith and Lawrence to improvise. Bay secretly told Smith to call his co-star a bitch before the 'driving Miss Daisy' scene and when Lawrence complained to Bay, he was told to act accordingly in the scene.
  • Vic Manni, who plays one of Fouchet's bodyguards in the film, was actually Don Simpson's bodyguard. Simpson hired him after being threatened by the Mafia.

What's Not to Like?

However, you can have too much of a good thing and if this film proves anything then it's the old adage about 'style over substance'. In terms of script, characters, action, and direction, Bad Boys offers nothing you haven't already seen before and you certainly have since, given how influential Bay has become. Think about it—does this movie offer anything different than what was already in Beverly Hills Cop, an action comedy about buddy cops blowing things up in the name of police-work? I also remembered of the scene from the Simon Pegg comedy Hot Fuzz which brilliantly pokes fun at the equally lavish sequel where Pegg's by-the-book policeman watches the film and questions the amount of paperwork that would be required with so much collateral damage.

Part of the problem with Bad Boys is inherent within the action genre itself, in that it simply doesn't stay with you. While it's on, it bombards you with violence and wise-cracks and scenes of illogical yet amazing action. But when it's finished, it's almost completely forgotten about. No matter how good the two leads are or how funny a film is, it simply feels far too similar to a hundred other films out there. There isn't a spark of originality anywhere in the picture and frankly, I find that sad.

The film has a sense of style harking back to "Miami Vice" in the Eighties
The film has a sense of style harking back to "Miami Vice" in the Eighties | Source

Should I watch it?

Bad Boys is probably one of the best rental movies you could ask for, wowing its undemanding audience with spectacle and an amusing couple of lead actors. But it won't go down as a classic because it's too derivative and the movie gets lost in its own trail of destruction. I had no real idea how one scene linked to the next but if all you're after is a brainless and pretty action film then this will do the trick just fine.

Great For: blokes' night in, fans of Miami Vice, pyromaniacs, petrol-heads.

Not So Great For: actual law enforcement, Miami's public image, veteran action movie-goers.

What Else Should I Watch?

For starters, there's Bad Boys II which offers almost the exact same movie as this but with a bigger budget so the explosions are... well, bigger. Of course, buddy-cop action movies aren't exactly rare - Beverly Hills Cop and its sequels sees Eddie Murphy on fine form as Detroit detective Axel Foley while Mel Gibson and Danny Glover are a winning combination in the equally Eighties franchise-starter Lethal Weapon. Even legendary lone-wolf John McClane was given a partner in the shape of Samuel L Jackson for 1995's Die Hard With A Vengeance, which ups the action ante even further and still has Bruce Willis in wise-cracking mode.

Bay has become something of a polarizing figure for movie-lovers. His films are rarely well received and yet, he has earned several billion dollars at the global box office. His best reviewed film is The Rock which sees Nicholas Cage and Sean Connery attempt to break into Alcatraz to stop rogue US Marines launching chemical weapons. It's just as loud, brash and stylish as Bad Boys but is the more enjoyable film due to Connery's innate charisma.

© 2017 Benjamin Cox

Soap Box

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)