Bad Boys (1995)

The press hand-out for Bad Boys puffs Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer as 'the most successful producing team of the 1980s', but I had to trawl through back issues of Variety to find out who actually directed the film, which is probably just how Don and Jerry, who foisted Beverly Hills Cop and Top Gun on you, like it. Starring a couple of black comedians who are huge on American TV but have no international profile, this is a big-budget cop comedy with muthafucka dialogue, car chases, a Eurobastard villain (Tcheky Karyo), surplus babes, explosions, buddy banter, I-ain't-no-fruit homosexual panic, supporting stooges, plenty of violence and absolutely no point of connection with reality. The spectres of Eddie Murphy and Lethal Weapon lurk unhelpfully in the background as cops Martin Lawrence and Will Smith safeguard witness Téa Leoni while trying to recover a zillion dollars' of drugs heisted by Karyo. The twist is that small, whiny married Lawrence has to impersonate cool, studly, unattached Smith to gain Leoni's confidence, cluttering an already over-busy plot with hopeless sit-com contrivances and misunderstandings. Michael Bay has followed the box-top instructions for assembling his 1980s movie, attaching the comedy to the action by pasting flap b to flange a and calling in the second unit guys whenever anything has to be detonated. It's a mammoth dead artifact from a lost era of Reagan, MTV and Miami Vice and nobody need trouble themselves with it. The 1980s were a long time ago.
KIM NEWMAN

First Published In: Q (issue unknown)


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