Miami-Dade detectives Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) blow a fuse when $100 million worth of heroin they recently confiscated is heisted from station headquarters. Suspecting it was an inside job, Internal Affairs gives them five days to track down the drugs before they shut down the narcotics division. Action meets farce when Marcus is compelled to masquerade as his partner in order to gain the trust of a call girl (Tea Leoni), a key witness in their investigation.
Bad Boys is a 1995 American action-comedy film produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Michael Bay in his directorial debut. It starred Martin Lawrence and Will Smith. The film was followed by a sequel in 2003, Bad Boys II.
Marcus Burnett is a hen-pecked family man. Mike Lowry is a foot-loose and fancy free ladies' man. Both are Miami policemen, and both have 72 hours to reclaim a consignment of drugs stolen from under their station's nose. To complicate matters, in order to get the assistance of the sole witness to a murder, they have to pretend to be each other.
Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) and Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) are best friends and detectives in the narcotics division of the Miami Police Department. One night, $100 million of Mafia seized heroin is stolen 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 has a suspicion that it was an inside job with corrupted police officers and warns the rest of the department that if they do not recover the drugs in five days, the narcotics division will be shut down.
Lowrey asks one of his informants and ex-girlfriend Maxine "Max" Logan (Karen Alexander) to look for people who are newly rich and therefore suspects. She gets herself and her best friend Julie Mott (Tea Leoni) hired as escorts by Eddie Dominguez (Emmanuel Xuereb), a former crooked cop and part of the coup. His boss, French drug kingpin Fouchet (Tcheky Karyo) and his henchmen Casper, Ferguson and Noah Trafficante do not want the coup to be endangered by outsider members who know nothing of the deal. Therefore, Fouchet shoots Max and Ferguson kills Dominguez. After witnessing the murder, Julie manages to escape over the roof.
Although she has not met Lowrey, because of Maxs relationship with him, Julie will only trust and deal with Lowrey. However, he is away when she contacts the police about the murders, threatening to run if she does not speak to Lowrey. Captain Conrad Howard (Joe Pantoliano) forces Burnett to impersonate Lowrey to get Julie to cooperate. Marcus manages to convince Julie that he is Mike Lowrey and together they escape from Julies apartment after a shootout during which Marcus manages to kill Raji, one of Fouchets cronies. In order to continue the deception, Burnett and Lowrey switch lives. Burnett tells his family he is going to Cleveland for another drug case, leaving Lowrey to stay with them. Burnett then moves into Lowreys apartment with Julie and her dogs. In Julies presence, Burnett poses as Lowrey while Lowrey poses as Burnett.
The investigation proceeds with Lowrey and Burnett calling in on their old informants, including Jojo (Michael Imperioli), a former chemist and drug convict who now works at a tire shop. Later, Julie identifies one of Maxs killers (Noah Trafficante), while looking through mug shots. The two cops then head off to Club Hell, one of his known hangouts. Unbeknownst to them, Julie has followed, eager to dish out revenge on Maxs killers. Though the criminals spot them first, after a brief fight between Marcus and Casper and a car chase which ends with Noah getting killed by Lowrey, all three manage to escape. The incident is caught on camera by a news helicopter. The subsequent report is later seen by Burnetts family.
At Club Hell they discover barrels of ether, which Fouchet is using to cut and refine the heroin, so Lowrey and Burnett decide to visit Jojo again. After an aggressive and convincing good cop-bad cop act from Lowrey and Burnett, Jojo tells them the location of the chemist who is cutting the stolen drugs. After staking out his house, they follow him to where Fouchet is hiding the drugs. They return to Lowreys apartment with Julie, where they are confronted by Burnetts wife who blows their cover, causing Julie to try to run. Fouchet and his gang arrive at Lowreys apartment and kidnap Julie. Because of this, Internal Affairs reassigns all members of the narcotics division, effectively shutting them down but Captain Howard delays the order to give Lowrey and Burnett a chance to get Julie and the drugs back.
Burnett, Lowrey and two other detectives (Nestor Serrano and Julio Oscar Mechoso) of the Miami P.D. organize a plan to stop the criminals from killing Julie and selling the drugs. A final shoot-out erupts between the group of cops and the drug dealers at Opa Locka Airport. Burnett is shot in the leg after saving Julie from Fouchet but manages to kill Casper by shooting some nearby barrels of ether which blow up Casper and some nearby thugs. After Mike kills Ferguson, he attempts to catch Fouchet, who shoots Lowrey while escaping the building, which is now on fire, but he is rescued by Burnett and Julie who left to get Lowreys car.
Burnett, Lowrey and Julie chase Fouchets Shelby Cobra AC 427 in Mikes Porsche 911 Turbo. Burnett bumps Fouchet into a concrete barrier but he manages to escape the wreckage. Attempting to run, Fouchet is shot in the leg by Lowrey. Fouchet, knowing he is beaten, tries to goad Lowrey into killing him, which he almost does as revenge for Maxs murder until Burnett prevents it. While on the ground, Fouchet then pulls out a concealed weapon and aims at Burnett but seeing the reflection on his partners forehead, Lowrey spins and shoots Fouchet numerous times, killing him.
Later, after Marcus and Mike profess their mutual platonic love for one another and their relief in surviving the gun fight, Marcus handcuffs Julie and Mikes hands together and hobbles away hoping for some much needed "quality time" with his wife so he could reconcile with her for his actions.
Principal photography began on June 27, 1994, at the Dade Tire company near downtown Miami, the city chosen to replace the original New York locale. Filming continued throughout the area, including south Beach´s Tides Hotel, the Mediterranean Biltmore Hotel, the Dade County Courthouse and a multi-million dollar estate on a private island. The second floor of downtown Miamis DuPont building was converted into a police station, a freighter on the Miami River into a drug lab. Bad Boys climactic scenes were filmed at the Opa-Locka Airport. Production wrapped on August 31.
In the films early stages of development, Simpson and Bruckheimer initially envisioned Dana Carvey and Jon Lovitz in the roles. When the film was written for Carvey and Lovitz, the original title for Bad Boys was Bulletproof Hearts. Arsenio Hall turned down the role of Lowrey and cites that choice as the worst mistake he has ever made. The role eventually went to Smith.
Both Lawrence and Smith were starring in their own hit TV shows, Martin and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, when filming Bad Boys. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air even references the film in an episode. In the season 6, episode 20, called "I Stank Horse", Nicholas "Nicky" Banks tells Will that his parents will not let him watch Bad Boys, to which Will replies, "Oh, whatcha gonna do?"
Director Bay did not like the script and often engaged Smith and 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 Smith to call Lawrence a bitch before the car scene. The whole "two bitches in the sea" was improvised, as was Martins comment when Leoni called him gay.
The scene in the convenience store, wherein the clerk puts a gun to Burnett and Lowreys heads and yells, telling them to "Freeze, mother bitches!", 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 Bay in the DVD commentary, at the end of the film when Mike and Marcus 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 days 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.
Bad Boys and Bad Boys II are part of the same movie series. Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson produced Bad Boys and Beverly Hills Cop. Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson produced Bad Boys and Beverly Hills Cop II. Martin Lawrence and Julio Oscar Mechoso appear in Bad Boys and Blue Streak. Martin Lawrence appears in Bad Boys and National Security.
The film was commercially successful, grossing $141,407,024 worldwide — $65,807,024 in North America and $75,600,000 overseas. However, critical reception was generally mixed. Film review aggregating website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 43% of 46 sampled critics gave the film positive reviews and that it got a rating average of 4.9 out of 10 with the consensus: "Bad Boys stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence have enjoyable chemistry; unfortunately, director Michael Bay too often drowns it out with set pieces and explosions in place of an actual story". Most of the criticisms focused 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.
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 films, particularly those from the Lethal Weapon and Beverly Hills Cop series—recurrent stock-characters, police detective cliches 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, theres always one infallible solution; have a car-chase and then blow something up real good."
Gene Siskel in his appraisal of the film said that he had lost interest in the film after its introduction due to the very formulaic approach, and repeated Roger Eberts 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.