Will Smith Martin Lawrence Vanessa Hudgins Alexander Ludwig
Charles Melton Paola Nunez Jacob Scipo
At one point, a character says to another, “Now it’s time to be good men.” In the meantime, though, Mike (Smith) and Marcus (Lawrence) are going to be bad boys—really bad boys—and take pride in it. Forget about codes of conduct, following orders from superiors, or reasonable driving in a car chase (car chases are obligatory for any action movie) through heavy traffic. Such codes are for sissies and “quitters” to use Mike’s term. I shudder when I see the fare that is put out there for young people to consume. In the first five minutes, the filmmakers show us the some of the poorest sides of men (a hair-raising ride through crowded streets) and women (murder of a public official), and that’s only the beginning of the glorification of might and brawn winning out over fundamental values. Religious beliefs, family considerations, and acknowledgement of limitations are scoffed at. Oh, and all of this is supposed to be hilarious—and indeed is, for some people, apparently.
As to the story, detectives Mike and Marcus have been partners in Miami for years, with the code “bad boys for life” (fist bump). Marcus is having some reservations about continuing and is ready (eager) to embrace retirement. But Mike is incredulous, seeing Marcus as simply giving up, and he frantically attempts to dissuade him. After Mike is drastically injured, even the captain of the police force tries to persuade him to let go, and absolutely forbids him to investigate his own injury case. But no; brain and all brawn is the theme of Bad Boys, and we have an idea that might will get its way in the end, and Mike will get what he wants.
What follows, is the typical good guys against the bad guys battles between the Miami police force and the mysterious (to them) force against them. Significant figures in the law enforcement community are being killed—high crime, it turns out, with a very personal message. We will learn about that in the last half-hour, a close-to-maudlin twist that ends up in an inferno in Mexico City ruins.
The one thing good I can say about this film is the cinematography by Robrect Heyraert. His depiction of the street scenes, the shoot-outs, and the eerie beauty of the Mexico City ruins are all exquisite. Likewise in artistry—which the script sorely lacks--Lorne Balfe’s music captures the haunting, raucous, and enigmatic moods of changing scenes in the movie.
How long, oh how long, must we endure films lauding the macho man at the expense of humanitarian values…and even technology?