In 1995 Will Smith was still primarily known as the Fresh Prince (with a lot of acclaim for his role in Six Degrees of Separation) and Martin Lawrence was riding high with a successful sitcom, stand-up and supporting roles in film. And Michael Bay? He had directed music videos.
Bad Boys is set in Miami and follows the exploits of two risk taking cops with attitude, Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett. When there is a heist that steals all the drugs from a recent major bust right from under the noses of the Drug Task Force’s vaults, they start trying to determine how it happened. When a call girl, Julie, calls in demanding to speak with Lowrey. This leads to “comic hijinks” as, since Mike is not in, Burnett pretends to be Lowrey.
This forced Mike to stay with Marcus’ family as they pretend to be each other to keep the trust of Julie. They take shots at each other via putting themselves down and so on. This is the Bickering Couple style of buddy cops, in the vein of Riggs and Murtaugh. Except, Mike has no death wish, instead he perceives himself as super awesome and is very into style and appearance. Like, I have no idea what a detective in Miami makes, but I still feel like it is very likely they cannot afford the lavish lifestyle of Mike Lowrey.
This film kicks off poorly aging humor about how it sure seems like they are a couple and both men getting hyper sensitive about it. Bay’s use of women as either unpleasant scold wives/authorities or hot objects is on full display here.
It can be hard to follow the action and the film often feels more like it is a bunch of rock videos strung together.
Bad Boys really cemented Bay’s style very early on and not really for the best. A lot of his weaknesses on display here have carried on through his career.