Bad Boys For Life hits theaters this weekend so we’re taking a look back at the original film.
With the highly anticipated release of Bad Boys For Life this weekend, we decided to look back at the first two films before the latest installment hits. Today we’re looking back at the original Bad Boys. When the drugs from their career-making case are stolen from evidence, Miami detectives and life long friends Marcus Burnett (Lawrence) and Mike Lowrey (Smith) try to track down the criminals responsible. Their investigation grows more complicated when Lowrey’s ex-girlfriend and informant Max (Karen Alexander) is killed by the criminals they’re searching for. The two work with Max’s best friend, and the only witness to Max’s murder, Julie (Téa Leoni), to find the criminals and stop them from selling the heroin before Internal Affairs shuts down their investigation.
The film is a fun, action packed, buddy cop film that plays with a few “cop film” tropes, while also letting Smith and Lawrence play to their strong suits. This is the film that began Will Smith’s career as an action hero, and he does a great job of showing that he can be more than a funny man here. Most of the film he plays the straight man to Martin Lawrence’s wise cracking and at times short fused Burnett. The two work well together and their chemistry truly elevates the film to something better than a run of the mill buddy cop film.
It’s interesting to look back on this film after 25 years and see how much of an impact it made. It helped Martin Lawrence continue a string of successful films, it launched Will Smith’s career as a leading man, and it helped Michael Bay become Michael Bay. The film is flawed at times, with cheesy and cliched dialogue, but it does take some turns that are unexpected. It doesn’t do everything you expect it to, and that’s what makes it so fun and rewatchable. There’s a lot of great moments, especially between Lawrence and Smith, that prove that this film has reason to stand the test of time, and that these two have immense talent.
There aren’t many action films from the 90’s that can truly stand up over time. Many of them are filled with too many of the usual tropes of the genre, and have one or two good actors who are clearly just doing the film for a paycheck or to make them seem more versatile. But Bad Boys is a legitimately good and fun action film that is still satisfying 25 years later. It’s the type of film that feels as though everyone involved had a blast making it, and that makes it even more enjoyable to watch at home. The film is far from perfect, but it’s something worthy of your time at least for Smith and Lawrence’s performances.
Bad Boys is currently streaming on Netflix. You can catch Bad Boys For Life in theaters this weekend, get tickets here.
Written by Alex Lancaster
(Alex is a life long film fan, and has dedicated his life to watching, making and obsessing over films. His favorite film is Big Fish, and he despises Avatar. He has a 5 year old son. And a bad habit of saying more than he needs to. Follow @alex5348 on Twitter)