Bad Boys - From director Michael Bay (Transformers) comes a thrill ride of explosive action from beginning to end. One hundred million dollars worth of confiscated drugs has just been jacked from police custody. Once the career bust of Detectives Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence), the missing drugs now threaten to shut down the Narcotics Division of the Miami Police Department. When the drug investigation turns deadly, the murderers kidnap the only witness, a beautiful police informant (Téa Leoni) and close friend of the boys. Experience all of the humor, thrills and action like never before with this 20th anniversary edition now fully remastered in 4K.
Bad Boys II - Fully remastered in 4K and for the first time on Blu-ray! Hang on for maximum mayhem, full-on fun and the wildest chase scenes ever put on film! The action and comedy never stop when superstars Martin Lawrence and Will Smith reunite as out-of-control trash-talking buddy cops. Bullets fly, cars crash, and laughs explode as they pursue a whacked-out drug lord from the streets of Miami to the barrios of Cuba. But the real fireworks result when Lawrence discovers that playboy Smith is secretly romancing his sexy sister, Gabrielle Union (Bring It On). Director Michael Bay (Transformers) and producer Jerry Bruckheimer (The Pirates of the Caribbean) deliver a high-speed, high-octane blockbuster that will blow you away!
When a movie hits its 20th anniversary, it feels like a pretty big event. All of a sudden you're looking back in amazement that it has been that long since said movie came out. You also start to wonder what exactly you were doing 20 years ago. 20 years ago I was thirteen years old and devouring action movies which would likely indicate that I was possibly wearing out my VHS tape of 'Bad Boys.' 20 Years later the first film of the Martin Lawrence/Will Smith lead franchise is still a ton of fun while also serving as a reminder at how much of a missed opportunity 'Bad Boys II' actually is.
For Miami P.D. narcotics cops Marcus Burnet (Martin Lawrence) and his well-to-do partner Mike Lowrey (Will Smith), their careers couldn't be better. After just busting up a major heroin ring, the only things they have to worry about is Marcus not having enough "quality time" with his wife and the cleanliness of Mike's $105,000 limited edition car. All of those simple worries fly out the window when a French criminal mastermind by the name of Fouchet (Tcheky Karyo) manages to break into the Miami P.D.'s evidence room and make off with over $100,000,000 in confiscated heroin. With I.A.D. officer Sinclair (Marg Helgenberger) breathing down their necks, Mike, Marcus and their permanently angry captain Howard (Joe Pantoliano) are going to have to crack the case as quickly and as quietly as possible or risk losing their jobs. Unfortunately, the only lead they have happens to be a witness to a murder named Julie (Téa Leoni), only she has trust issues with the police forcing Mike and Marcus to pretend to be each other while they investigate Fouchet and his gang.
It had been quite a long time since I'd taken a look at 'Bad Boys,' so I was a bit worried at how well the film would hold up after all these years. Thankfully, in spite of some script shortcomings, the movie is still a high-octane thrill ride with plenty of laughs to be had from its lead actors. It's amazing to think that way back when this movie came out that Martin Lawrence was once a bigger cinematic draw than Will Smith was! There wasn't an 'Independence Day,' there wasn't 'Men in Black' and its sequels and 'Wild Wild West' wasn't even a blip in Smith's acting radar. This was also the feature film debut of Michal Bay who had just graduated from shooting music videos and car commercials and made the big time with this feature film. It's easy to see the director's trajectory after watching this movie again so far removed from its original release. People have long been complaining about Bay's signature style, and this film isn't free of those complaints, but because of budget constraints the lasting effects are mitigated. Bay is one of those filmmakers that I feel can deliver a decent piece of carefree entertainment so long as someone is being tight with the purse strings ensuring he's not allowed to dip into self-indulgence. As 'Bad Boys II' proves, when the man is given free reign, the results can be mind-numbing and more than a little obnoxious.
Bad Boys II
Eight years later and Miami P.D. star narcotics cops are still doing their thing. They've snuck into a KKK rally that is doubling as a drop point for a massive shipment of ecstasy pills. When the bust goes bad, the two cops are left to shoot their way out only to discover that the shipment is decidedly smaller than they were lead to believe. Complicating their respective lives, Marcus is dealing with stress issues, on top of being shot in his sit-upon while Mike is seeing Marcus' little D.E.A. sister Syd (Gabrielle Union) on the side. As the two partners in crime fighting try to work out their issues, they're thrust into a war on drugs that leads to the Russian club owner Alexei (Peter Stormare) and the Cuban drug runner Johnny Tapia (Jordi Mollà). In order to keep the lethal Ex off the streets, Mike, Marcus, the D.E.A. and the Coast Guard are going to have to establish some inter-department cooperation - especially when Syd gets kidnapped and they have to invade Cuba to rescue her.
Twelve years later and I can still remember being excited to see 'Bad Boys II' in the theater. Sure, Michael Bay had just come off the clunky stinker that was 'Pear Harbor,' but 'The Rock' and 'Armageddon' had been pretty great sources of fun so I was hopeful that the old Martin Lawrence and Will Smith magic could cause lightning to strike twice. It didn't take long for me to realize that the movie I had paid to see was going to be a tough experience to sit through. Before this review, I had only seen 'Bad Boys II' one other time on DVD and still had a strong disliking of the film. I'll admit to being a little more entertained this time around but the film's problems are still there and they're just as glaring and irritating as ever. For starters, the comedy hijinks between Lawrence and Smith just flat out fail to ignite. When their banter fails it inevitably reverts to a barrage of gay jokes that even in the context of 2003 just aren't funny. Scenes become repetitive and tiresome and the plot suffers for it. This movie is easily 30 minutes too long for its own good. Then you have a limp villain in Johnny Tapia who is never threatening, interesting, or someone to be afraid of in the way that Fouchet was in the first film. We do get a redneck KKK-clad Michael Shannon complaining about his rights for a few moments so I guess that's something. This movie is 100% unrestrained Michael Bay and the results in my opinion are a mess. However, I can't entirely hate the movie. It does provide some good entertainment - even if the action sequences can drag on and become repetitive. I also have to show it a little bit of love since it provided a lot of inspiration for Edgar Wright's brilliant action movie sendup 'Hot Fuzz.' So even I have to admit that some good did come from this movie, but if there really are two more sequels on the way, I hope some new creative talent is brought in to bring this franchise back in a way that not only works but also reminds us why we loved the first movie and helps us forget this sequel.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
Now that 'Bad Boys' has reached its 20th Anniversary, Sony has seen fit to repackage the pair in a double pack. Encased in a slip sleeve, each movie arrives on a Region Free BD50 disc that is housed in its own individual standard Blu-ray case. Each disc comes with an Ultraviolet HD digital copy voucher. Both discs open directly to static image main menus. This is also the Blu-ray debut of 'Bad Boys II' and this dual pack is currently the only way to purchase the film.
The interesting part of this pairing of the 'Bad Boys' films together is you can see the different eras of Michael Bay's career on full display. 'Bad Boys' features a 1.85:1 frame while 'Bad Boys II' falls in line with the director's more recent efforts in 2.40:1. To the respect that both films have been mastered in 4k for this releases, each film looks incredibly beautiful in its own ways.
Quite simply, this is the best this movie has looked since the time I saw it in a second run theater with my Dad. Colors are bright, but also hold the warmer orange tones. Grain has been retained throughout creating a wonderful film-like appearance. Black levels are solid as a rock allowing for ample shadow separation without any crush issues to speak of creating a pleasing three-dimensional sense of depth to the image. Colors also don't appear to have been artificially pushed into the dreaded teal/orange spectrum, or if they have, no more than they were already. Flesh tones are accurate leaving everyone involved looking warm and healthy without becoming too pink. All Around a beautiful looking transfer. 4.5/5
Bad Boys II
So this is where we see late era Michal Bay in full force. Colors for this film have always been pushed further into the teal/orange grading and this 4k remaster retains the look of the film that I saw in theaters. Film grain is visible throughout, but given the stylistic flourishes this film enjoys over its predecessor, film grain can actually become fairly noisy looking in a few sequences. Not terrible by any means, but notable as a side effect of filmmaker intention. Colors, although kicked up a few notches, are quite beautiful allowing for plenty of primary pop and black levels are outstanding. Fans of this film should be pleased with this Blu-ray debut. 4.5/5
Both 'Bad Boys' films arrive with fresh new DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio tracks in English as well as various other languages. It's a bit of a bummer that a 7.1 or Atmos upgrade wasn't provided, but still, these movies pack some auditory thunder. Both films get a huge upgrade in terms of audio fidelity and presence with their respective tracks. Dialog for both films is crisp and clear and there isn't any sort of distortion effects to hold things back. That said, where things separate in the margins, 'Bad Boys II' just sounds better, livelier, and more present with its respective DTS-HD 5.1 track than the one that was provided for 'Bad Boys.' Where 'Bad Boys II' - as over the top as it can get - can sound more natural and authentic during any given scene, 'Bad Boys' has some hollow sounding moments. Whenever guns aren't firing or explosions ripping across the screen, 'Bad Boys' just doesn't quite pop quite as well during the conversational moments. It still has a wonderful auditory presence throughout the movie, but some of the more procedural moments sound a bit canned. That said, it's difficult to find flaws with either track since it's quite clear that a lot of time and effort went into these DTS tracks.
Bad Boys: 4/5
Bad Boys II: 5/5
Each film is provided the same extra features from previous DVD releases.
Audio Commentary: Michael Bay flies solo for this one and it's a great listen. Say what you will about the guy's ability to manage character and story, the dude knows how to technically make a clean and polished looking and sounding movie. His anecdotes about the making of the movie are informative and entertaining.
Putting The Boom & Bang in Bad Boys: (SD 23:54) This is an intricate and immersive look at what went into making the explosions and guns and bullet impacts for each action sequence. It's a bit slow but at the same time you come away learning a ton about what went into making the movie.
Music Videos: (SD 11:12) Music videos for 69 Boyz "Five-O Five-O (Here they Come)," Diana King "Shy Guy," and Warren G "So Many Ways" can be viewed individually or run in a stream together. It's funny watching these videos and seeing how they tied the movie into them. It's also a hell of a 90s fashion time capsule!
Teaser Trailer: (HD 2:18) This movie was really hinging on the Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer producing connection to movies like 'Top Gun' and 'Beverly Hills Cop' to sell this thing.
Theatrical Trailer: (HD 2:47) This trailer really plays off its own strengths and does a solid job of selling the buddy/cop/action movie style of the movie.
Bad Boys II:
Deleted Scenes: (SD 7:15) a collection of cut scenes that really didn't add a whole lot to the movie beyond padding out some character beats that were already covered in some fashion in other scenes. Some good comedy moments, but nothing that was really missed.
Production Diaries: (SD 68:39) This is a massive collection of small, brief, but informative behind the scenes content. It's actually a bit frustrating that this material isn't presented as one big documentary, but it is also kinda cool that each aspect of the movie was captured this way.
Sequence Breakdown: (SD 12:25, 5:22, 4:48, 3:38, 9:00, 10:06) This is a collection of six sequences MacArthur Causeway, Ice Van Chase, Monorail Fight, 5-Man Ratchet, Tapia's Mansion, and Shanty Town detailing what went into creating each big action sequence of the movie. Each segment is rather brief but if you combine them together, there is a lot of information to be gleaned from these featurettes.
Stunts: (SD 9:29) If you know this movie then you know a ton of stunt work went into it and this is actually a really cool short extra feature that showcases the hard work that went into it.
Visual Effects (SD 18:38) This is an interesting look at how CGI effects were used to enhance and piece together larger and more complicated sequences within the movie.
Music Video: (SD 3:52) Jay-Z "La-La-La" There was a stretch of about six months where I couldn't get away from this song, it was everywhere I went, and now, 12 years later, the song found me again… It's a good song, but I could go without hearing it again and be just fine.
Teaser Trailer: (HD 2:08) Does a solid job of getting the audience hooked on the idea of our two favorite Miami Narcotics Cops coming back to the big screen.
Theatrical Trailer: (HD 2:26) A bit longer and shows some more plot but otherwise a decent trailer.
Theatrical Trailer: (HD 1:02) I dig the subtlety of this one, no frills just simple action images without any flash to sell the flick. It's also shorter and sells the movie a lot better.
Love them or hate them, 'Bad Boys' and 'Bad Boys II' are together again but for the first time on Blu-ray for the second film. The fresh 4k remasters are crisp and beautiful. Sony brings these two films to Blu-ray in fantastic order with near flawless A/V presentations and tons of extra features have been ported over from the previous home video releases. If you're a fan of both films, this is a great set. Even if you only like the first film, it's hard to go wrong with a purchase at this price point. Recommended.