Martin Lawrence, Will Smith, Tea Leoni, Theresa Randle
Let’s say this buddy action comedy begins with 100 points of entertainment value. If we subtract, say, 10 points for each line of dialogue that consists entirely of “Oh, expletive!” and 25 points for each car chase or gratuitous explosion, that would leave Bad Boys with about minus-250 points of entertainment value.
Screenwriters Michael Barrie, Jim Mulholland and Doug Richardson essentially drop out after contributing one amusing idea: the premise, involving a married Miami cop (Lawrence) harboring a sexy witness (Leoni) who has seen a drug-related murder. When Lawrence stashes Leoni in his partner Smith’s bachelor pad, it sets up some clever mistaken-identity gags and lets Randle, as Lawrence’s wife, wax indignant over his familiarity with Leoni.
The unfailingly ingratiating Smith glides through the movie. Where Lawrence is a standup trying to be an actor, Smith is an actor with a refined sense of comedy. He is also physically imposing enough to pull off a serious action film. (R)