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Bad Boys balances action and comedy on big screen

Bad Boys

Directed by Michael Bay.

Written by Michael Barrie, Jim Mulholland, and Doug Richardson.

Starring Martin Lawrence, Will Smith, Tia Leoni, Tcheky Karyo, Theresa Randle, and Joe Pantoliano

Sony Cheri.

By Kamal Swamidoss
Staff Reporter

Okay, there are the bad guys and the Bad Boys, two completely different parties in this film. The Bad Boys are Miami Narcotics Detectives Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence). They have to protect a beautiful material witness (Tia Leoni) from the bad guys. This is a great film which strikes the right balance of action and comedy.

As you'd expect from a film with Smith and Lawrence, there are many funny scenes in Bad Boys. The two actors work well together to produce comedy not only in what they say, but also in what they do. In fact, I was a little frustrated because I was missing lines; the audience was laughing so much at one funny line that I kept missing the two or three that followed.

However, Bad Boys is essentially an action film. Smith and Lawrence take care of the comedy, but director Michael Bay gets most of the credit for the success of the action scenes. Sure, they wouldn't have been as exciting without two good actors, but the direction adds an altogether new dimension to them. You get caught up in the action; it's of such quality that you become part of it.

The comedy complements the action in an extraordinary way. Very rarely in an action film does comedy fit in so well. True Lies is the most obvious recent attempt at combining the two in large amounts. The result was not nearly as entertaining as Bad Boys. Watch the two films and you'll notice that action and comedy merge more pleasantly in Bad Boys.

Tcheky Karyo plays the main bad guy. You might remember him as Bob from La Femme Nikita. He doesn't have as big a part in this film, so he can't show how great an actor he is. His accent adds to his menacing image, though.

The one thing that takes away from this great mix is the lousy film editing. The scene transitions are sometimes annoyingly noticeable. It's hard to tell how much time has passed from one scene to the next. I got the feeling that a lot of material that aided continuity was cut out.

Although the music isn't as memorable or as connected to the story as it is in other films, I was pleased to hear lots of songs that require beaucoup de bass. A theater with a powerful sound system is essential to getting the total experience of this film.

This isn't usually very evident in a movie, but in Bad Boys the choice of automobiles is great. Smith drives a black Porsche 911, which is in many of the scenes. The director makes excellent shot selections that show off the car right from the beginning. It's cool how what a character drives can to some degree affect the nature of a film.

The interesting story, fast pace, and in-sync comedy make this a great action film which only increases my anticipation for the summer film season.