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Bad Boys is a 1995 action comedy film directed by Michael Bay, produced by Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer, producers of Top Gun and Beverly Hills Cop, and starring Martin Lawrence and Will Smith. The film also spawned a 2003 sequel, Bad Boys II, with a second sequel, Bad Boys III expected to be released in 2011.


Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) and Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) are detective sergeants in the Miami-Dade Police Department. One night, $100 million of seized heroin is stolen by gangsters from a secure police vault. This is a major blow to Burnett and Lowrey, because it was the biggest drug bust of their careers. Internal Affairs believe it was an inside job and issue an ultimatum—if they do not recover the drugs in five days, the narcotics division will be shut down. It is quickly discovered that one of the gang members was Eddie Domínguez, a former cop, who has absconded with some of the heroin. Dominguez is shot to death by his boss, Frenchmarker drug kingpin Fouchet (Tchéky Karyo), who also kills escort Maxine "Max" Logan (Karen Alexander), one of Lowery's ex-girlfriends. The only witness to the crime is Max's best friend Julie Mott (Téa Leoni).

Although she has never met him, Julie will only testify to Lowrey, but he is out of contact when she threatens to run, so Burnett is forced to impersonate him in order to get her to co-operate. In order to continue the deception Burnett moves Julie into Lowrey's apartment, which he himself has to move into, while Lowrey moves in with Burnett's family and claims to be Burnett in Julie's presence while Burnett claims to be Lowrey.

Eventually, Fouchet and his gang of criminals learn where Julie is and kidnap her. Burnett attempts to get her back after her kidnapping Julie but is unsuccessful. Burnett, Lowrey and two other members of the Miami P.D. organize a plan to stop the criminals from killing Julie and selling the drugs to a Colombianmarker drug lord. A final shoot-out erupts between Burnett, Lowrey and the drug dealers. The criminals are eliminated by Burnett, Lowrey, Julie and the other Miami P.D members after Julie is saved. But during the process Burnett is injured but is rescued by Lowrey and Julie in Burnett's Porsche. A final car chase erupts with Fouchet and Burnett and Lowrey causing Fouchet to crash. Fouchet attempts to kill them but is knocked out by both of them, except Fouchet tries another time but this time Lowrey and Burnett are facing the other way. Luckily, Lowrey sees the reflection from Fouchets pistol on Burnett's face and shoots him dead. At the end the police are at the scene and are happy with what they've done. Then Burnett (Martin Lawrence) plays a prank and handcuffs Julie's and Lowrey's (Will Smith) hands together.



In the film's early stages of development, Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer initially envisioned Dana Carvey and Jon Lovitz in the roles. When the movie was written for Carvey and Lovitz, the original title for Bad Boys was Bulletproof Hearts.

Both Martin Lawrence and Will Smith were starring in their own hit TV shows, Martin and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air when filming this movie. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air even references the film in an episode. When Nicky Banks tells Will that his mom and dad won't let him watch Bad Boys, to which Will replies, "Oh, so whatcha gonna do?"


Director Michael Bay didn't like the script and often engaged Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in discussions about how the dialogue and scenes could improve. He often allowed them to improvise while the cameras were rolling. He secretly told Will to call Lawrence a bitch before the car scene. The whole "two bitches in the sea" was improvised, as was Martin's comment when Téa Leoni called him gay.

The scene in the convenience store where the clerk puts a gun to Burnett and Lowrey's heads and tells them to "Freeze, bitch!" is also improvised. They came up with "No, you freeze, bitch! Now back up, put the gun down and get me a pack of Tropical Fruit Bubbalicious". "And some Skittles."

According to Michael Bay in his DVD commentary, at the end of the film when Mike (Smith) and Marcus (Lawrence) are recuperating, Mike says "I love you, man." Bay claims that Smith refused to say the line, causing the director and actor to argue back and forth over the line. Bay wanted Smith to say the line as he felt it summed up the friendship between the cops. After their argument had lasted for half of the day's shoot and much of the crew was ready to pack up, a fed up Bay told Smith to do whatever he wanted, after which Smith changed his mind and agreed to say the line.

Reaction and commercial success

The film itself was commercially successful, as its total gross was estimated at $65.8 million in the United states and $75 million overseas. However, critical reception was generally negative with most of the criticisms focusing on the fact that despite the production of the film and the ability of the stars, the script did not diverge from the generic plot of a cop-buddy genre film, instead opting for repeated use of formulaic scenes.

The current Rotten Tomatoes tomatometer shows that 42% of critics that they indexed gave the film positive reviews, with the "Top Critics" score remaining at 14%.

Roger Ebert in his video review of the film on At The Movies noted that despite the highly energetic approach of the two lead actors and the visual style of the film, their acting talents were mostly "new wine in old bottles". He illustrated that many of the elements featured in the film including both the plot and characters had been recycled from other movies, particularly those from the Lethal Weapon and Beverley Hills Cop series -- recurrent stock-characters, police detective clichés and over-long action scenes. In describing the archetypal cop-buddy genre action scene adhered to by the film, Ebert noted "Whenever a movie like this starts to drag, there's always one infallible solution; have a car-chase and then blow something up REAL good."

Gene Siskel in his appraisal of the the film said that he had lost interest in the film after its introduction due to the very formulaic approach, and repeated Roger Ebert's criticism that the talents of the lead actors were wasted; suggesting that the production company did not spend significant time producing a script which would be suitable for their talents.

Reviews from moviegoers were generally positive and many of them felt that the movie injected new interest and reinvigorated the buddy cop genre. Some fans of the movie even compared Bad Boys to Lethal Weapon in the sense that both films had two male leads who are at odds with each other while trying to solve cases together. Between the two, Bad Boys is viewed to be a faster movie than Lethal Weapon (which relied on intrigue and suspense).

Because of the popularities of Smith, Lawrence and Bay, Bad Boys continues to enjoy heavy playtime oncable television networks as well as continued presence in video stores worldwide.


A soundtrack containing hip hop and R&B was released on March 25, 1995 by Work Records. It peaked at #26 on the Billboard 200 and #13 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.

The album was well received by fans of the rap/R&B genres, but disappointed fans of Mark Mancina's movie score, as only one of up to fifteen tracks composed for the film by Mancina was featured on the album. Also, most of the industrial rock tracks, which featured primarily in the "Club Hell" scene, are also missing from the album. These include "Nothing" by Stabbing Westward, "Angels" by Dink, and "Sweet Little Lass" by DAG.

The original score by Mark Mancina was released in September 2007 by La-La Land Records as a limited edition of 3000 copies.

See also


  1. IN THE DRESSING ROOM WITH DANA CARVEY; Every Night Live? - New York Times
  2. McCarthy, Todd., 1995. Bad Boys Review Variety Magazine [Internet] Available at
  3. Ebert, Roger., Siskel, Gene., 1995 Bad Boys Review [Internet Video] Available at Buena-Vista Television
  4. BAD BOYS - Original Score Album by Mark Mancina

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