[box cover]

Bad Boys: Special Edition

An all-black Lethal Weapon, Bad Boys is the film that introduced the aesthetic of Michael Bay to the masses and helped make stars of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. It's probably also a textbook example of the Simpson-Bruckheimer approach to filmmaking (released in the summer of 1995, this $23 million movie made $65 million in the U.S. and $165 million worldwide). The script, credited to four writers, follows a familiar pattern seen in plenty of TV cop shows and movies, from Narrow Margin onward. Téa Leoni is the sole surviving witness of a hit in which her best friend was killed, and two buddy cops have to protect her. The killers are led by Tcheky Karyo, who has masterminded the robbery of the Miami Police Department's seized drugs. But first (and for some reason not really explained) he desperately needs to seize (but not execute) Téa. This is where the Miami Vice-like Smith and Lawrence come in, but the awkward subplots, which is probably what sold it to the executives, is the least satisfying aspect of the movie. A lot of time is spent on the "comedy" of Smith and Lawrence having switched identities, and it's an unwieldy device planted right in the middle of an otherwise fast-paced, perhaps too-fast-paced, film. Good anamorphic transfer (1.85:1), DD 5.1. Pretty good audio commentary by director Bay, new documentary about the making of the film, three (rather poor) music videos, isolated music track, and a feature called "Damage Control," which isn't explained very well, but which seems to be test shots of special effects involving gunshots and car-explosions, utilizing the multi-angle feature to mildly satisfying effect. Photo galleries, cast-and-crew notes. Keep case.
—D.K. Holm

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