Bad Boys

Okay, there are the bad guys and the Bad Boys, two completely different parties in this film. The Bad Boys are Miami Narcotics Detectives Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence). They have to protect a beautiful material witness (Tia Leoni) from the bad guys. This is a great film which strikes the right balance of action and comedy.

As you’d expect from a film with Smith and Lawrence, there are many funny scenes in Bad Boys. The two actors work well together to produce comedy not only in what they say, but also in what they do. In fact, the audience was laughing so much at one funny line that I kept missing the two or three that followed.

However, Bad Boys is essentially an action film. Smith and Lawrence take care of the comedy, but Michael Bay gets most of the credit for the success of the action scenes. Sure, they wouldn’t have been as exciting without two good actors, but the direction adds an altogether new dimension to them. You get caught up in the action; it’s of such quality that you become part of it.

The comedy complements the action in an extraordinary way. Very rarely in an action film does comedy fit in so well. In 1995, True Lies attempted at combining the two in large amounts. The result was not nearly as entertaining as Bad Boys.

Watch the two films and you’ll notice that action and comedy merge more pleasantly in Bad Boys. Tcheky Karyo plays the main bad guy. You might remember him as Bob from La Femme Nikita. He doesn’t have as big a part in this film, so he can’t show how great an actor he is. His accent adds to his menacing image, though.

Visually, the movie gives us a Miami filled with midnight glitz, shot with the flair of a fashion photographer – backlit monochrome tilt shots and all. It has relentless editing, slick action sequences, and blows up stuff real good.

I was pleased to hear lots of songs that require beaucoup de bass. A theater with a powerful sound system is essential to getting the total experience of this film.

This isn’t usually very evident in a movie, but in Bad Boys the choice of automobiles is great. Smith drives a black Porsche 911 Turbo , which is in many of the scenes. Michael Bay makes excellent shot selections that show off the car right from the beginning. It’s cool how what a character drives can to some degree affect the nature of a film.

Production Notes

“Bad Boys” went into production on June 27, 1994, at the Dade Tire company near downtown Miami. “Miami resonates with spicy and seductive themes,” says Simpson. “It’s got a unique feel that was perfect for what we wanted in this film.” Adds Bruckheimer: “It’s a clean, beautiful city that also happens to be film friendly. We were going for a variety of looks with this film, particularly a more retro-funk feel, not like the slick Miami we’ve seen in other films.”

The company moved out to the art deco district of South Beach where onlookers were treated to a movie shoot-out on the terrace of the Tides Hotel right across from the beach. “Bad Boys” moved throughout the city, shooting at historic buildings, sound stages, a multi-million dollar estate on a private island and the majestic Mediterranean Biltmore Hotel. The filmmakers converted a freighter on the Miami River into a drug lab, and made use of the Dade County Courthouse and a bridge under construction at the Port of Miami.

Many of the locations where revamped or enhanced by a team of people working under production designer John Vallone. The second floor of the historic Dupont building in downtown Miami was transformed into a busy police station with wood-framed glass partitions separating private offices from the much-decorated main squad room. Filmmakers used the building’s large, antique stainless steel vault as the entrance to the evidence room. The tarmac of the Opa-Locka Airport was the perfect site for the film’s explosive finale. Pyrotechnics expert Mike Meinardus (“Speed”) staged the huge explosion of a 727 inside the rusty, old blimp hangar at the Opa-Locka on the last day of filming.

Production wrapped on August 31 in Miami, Florida.