Male bondage in overdrive

Issue 

Bad Boys
Starring Martin Lawrence, Will Smith and Tea Leoni
Directed by Michael Bey
Reviewed by Barry Healy

Bad Boys is produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, the people responsible for Flashdance, Beverly Hills Cop, Top Gun and various other big budget, smash-em-up/exploitation flicks. Director Michael Bey makes MTV music videos.

They have stuck to their tried and true formula here: the camera never stays on one shot for more than six seconds (I counted); someone gets killed approximately every five minutes; and there are as many stunt people credited as actors.

The feel is of choreographed violence, a kind of ballet of sadism. No-one talks; they all shout. Everyone is in conflict, and the only resolution available is with a fist or bullet.

The heroes are two Miami cops chasing a big-time drug dealer. But never mind the plot; you have to check your sense of disbelief at the door, along with any distaste you feel for sexism. The real story is male bonding. These guys bicker all the time but say, "I love you, man", right after they've slaughtered people.

And, gee, don't they know how to pump hot lead with those big guns of theirs. And blow things up, and drive fast cars. And all the while cracking some of the darnedest one-liners you've ever heard. The patter just flows like blood from a gunshot wound filmed in glorious slow motion and loving close-up (there are plenty of those, too).

The dialogue that does manage to get barked out in between the action reveals that certain words have a powerful attraction for the script writers. They seem to have jammed their word processor on "motherfucker". The word "woman" does not appear once in the whole film — the characters seem caught in a continuous sound loop with "bitch" instead.

Tea Leoni manages to look fetching in the micro mini skirt she has to wear as she acts the inconsequential piece of fluff who provides the excuse for the sexual humour — oh, and the pivotal witness to the crime.

There are some great rap songs, so I guess the sound track album would be worth the money. But as for the movie, Bad Boys has one too many words in its title.