Friday, November 9, 2012

Will Smith: Bad Boys

Also some slight language...

I've decided to go in chronological order by release date. I'm hoping to get some of the earlier movies from Netflix, but the earliest DVD I own is Bad Boys. First, I'll just give some background info on the movie, I suppose. It was released in 1995 and starred Will Smith as Mike Lowery and Martin Lawrence as Marcus Burnett. They play two detectives who work together to protect a murder witness while they break all the rules to investigate the case of the stolen drug evidence. It seems like an old story, but I can't help but love these two working together and their ridiculous antics.

Marcus is the married man. He complains about it, but you can tell that he truly loves his family. Mike is the ladies' man who is like the fun-loving uncle to Marcus' kids. The very first scene shows the two of them arguing with each other and they use their own argument to stall the supremely unlucky carjackers that try to steal Mike's porsche. They are basically complete opposites, which makes them fantastic partners. However, it gets quite complicated when they have to switch spots and Mike has to act like the devoted married man and Marcus has to act like the smooth talker.

One of the early scenes is of Marcus' family. In a lot of movies, the 'family' scenes are annoying because they just look fake. Anyone who has a family knows that siblings don't get along all the time and families don't sit down to every meal at a perfectly set table and say "please pass the..." and all that. The family scenes with Marcus' family look much more real. Kids jumping on the beds and pushing each other and roller-blading through the living room.

Anyway, back to plot. Basically, Marcus and Mike made a huge drug bust and took 100 million dollars in heroin...which then quickly was stolen from under their noses. Fouchet, played by Tcheky Karyo, is the French guy they're after who stole the drugs from the precinct. He might be seen as a stereotypical drug kingpin, but he plays it fairly well. Mike gets his friend Maxine (Karen Alexander) involved, which eventually leads to one of the more emotional moments of the movie. Maxine takes her friend Julie (Tea Leoni) along, and Julie becomes the witness to murder that they need to protect.

The interaction between Marcus/Mike and their counterparts, Detective Sanchez (Nester Serrano) and Detective Ruiz (Julio Mechoso) is very entertaining. They compete and mess with each other realistically, at least to those of us who haven't spent much time in police bullpins...Everyone thinks Mike's just a rich kid playing cop, since he has a trust fund, and he takes it very personally sometimes. Marcus seems to be very good at getting him out of those funks. These scenes tend to end in the two of them singing 'Bad Boys', even though they don't know the words, which makes them entertaining scenes.

Their interaction with their captain is usually also entertaining. He spends half his time screaming at them for breaking the rules and being ridiculous, but he always calls them because they get the results. Played by Joe Pantoliano, he leads his team with love...or not.

Julie calls Mike Lowry for help, because Max told her that he's the only cop she trusts. But when she calls, he's gone, so Marcus has to pretend to be Mike and they have to pretend to be each other for most of the rest of the movie. It does give off that cliche 'walk in each other's shoes' vibe, but it's enjoyable watching them try to be each other. Mike takes on the family life a lot easier than Marcus takes on the ladies' man role, but mostly because he likes to watch Marcus squirm when he acts like Marcus' wife is his.

Everywhere they go, they say they're not gonna have bullets and bodies and debris everywhere...Yet somehow they always leave all three behind them. They go to a club to try and find the drug operation, and almost immediately there are chairs and bullets flying. Then Julie shows up to get revenge for Max and just complicates everything...of course. They steal a truck to get away and not until they're driving like maniacs do they realize it has ether in the back.

There are some scenes that have some subtle race issue tones. There are times when no one believes Mike and Marcus are cops because 'they've seen cops', and Marcus and Mike don't look like cops. They tend to take it in stride, like pulling their guns on store owners and demanding candy. "Back up. Put the gun down. And give me a pack of tropical fruit bubbalicious...And some skittles."

Things get a little tense between the two of them towards the end of the film, but pretending to be each other can't be easy, right? But when it comes down to it, you can't beat that team, especially when family gets involved. When things get that serious, only Will Smith can chase a car in slow motion and catch up. Now, they've lost the witness and have 2 hours to find her and the drugs and the whole operation, even though they technically have been reassigned by I.A. and are breaking all the rules. (Of course, I.A. always has to come in and complicate things even more...)

They pull in the team and the tech and the favors to find them and get to them in time. You have to deal with the stereotypical drug deal with the brief cases and stacked bills in an airport hangar, but they spice it up with the Bad Boys humor and Mike's porsche and a baggage truck. A crazy gun fight rages for a few minutes, and then a high speed chase where Marcus finally learns how to drive the way Mike thinks he should. He just needed a little motivation.

I found the Frenchman's last attempt to run a little disappointing. He spends the entirety of the movie building up this tough character...and then he runs like a petty thief. Then he tries to be the big guy again...I just found it a little sad. I was a little scared of Will Smith when he had his gun in the guy's face, but I'm pretty sure I was supposed to be. He seems like an angry guy with a gun who barely holds it in from day to day, but Marcus is the perfect partner that can reel him back in.

The gunfight scenes seemed a little ridiculous. But you have to remember that this was the mid-90s, so it was pretty well done for its time. This movie is not for people who don't like choice language, either. It gets a little crazy at some points, but I still think it's a fairly great movie. A wonderful mix of action, humor, and Will Smith running around with his shirt off so the girlfriends will watch it.

I didn't really want this to be just a review of the movie, even though I think that's basically what it ended up being. I hope people still enjoy it and through the rest of this blog, might find new actors and/or movies to watch!

Random facts about the movie:

Martin Lawrence and Will Smith were both starring in their own TV shows, Martin and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, while filming Bad Boys. The Fresh Prince even references the film in episode 20 of season 6 ("I Stank Horse"). Nicholas "Nicky" Banks tells Will that his parents won't let him watch Bad Boys and Will says, "Oh, whatcha gonna do?"

Director Michael Bay didn't originally like the script, so he asked Smith and Lawrence how the dialogue and scenes could be improved. He also allowed them to improvise many of the scenes. The whole "two bitches in the sea" was improvised, along with Martin's reaction when Tea Leoni called him gay. The scene in the convenience store where the clerk tells them to "Freeze, mother bitches!" was also improvised, and so was their response: "No, you freeze, bitch! Now back up, put the gun down and get me a pack of Tropical Fruit Bubbalicious." "And some Skittles."

There was also quite a fight about whether or not Smith would say "I love you, man." to Lawrence at the end of the movie. Bay claims that Smith refused to say it and that this brought on an argument that lasted for half the day's shoot. Finally Bay told Smith to do whatever he wanted...And Smith decided to go ahead and say the line.

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