Bad Boys Blu-ray Review

by Casimir Harlow
Movies & TV Review

1

Bad Boys Blu-ray Review
SRP: £17.99

Picture

Bad Boys comes to UK Blu-ray with a solid 1080p High Definition in the movie's original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Detail is strong throughout, although far from the kind of quality that we have come to expect from the most recent of blockbuster releases. There is some softness, haloing, and print damage to be spotted here, but you have to forgive most of this when you consider that, not only was it made some 15 years ago, but it was also made for the kind of budget that Seagal gets for his current straight-to-DVD trash. Grain is also noticeable, but generally fits in with the nineties style. The colour scheme is pure Miami, either sporting neon night-club-life or a seemingly perpetual orange sunset sky, colours seldom accurate but always consistent in their skewed style. The explosions also look magnificent. Black levels are strong but occasionally we do get a little blocking and overall this is a solid but unremarkable back-catalogue offering. When compared to the last SD-DVD release, however, you can clearly see why this is worth an upgrade, detail truly taken to the next level even if this movie was never going to hold its own against some of Bay's more recent efforts released on Blu-ray.
Bad Boys

Sound

On the aural front we get a top range DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that mirrors the Director's style-over-substance approach in audio terms. In other words it packs a hell of a punch, but isn't particularly nuanced when it comes down to attention to detail, and lacks any significant depth. The snappy dialogue is accurately rendered throughout, clear and coherent and dominating the centre channel whenever it is appropriate (and benefiting no end from the fact that much of it is shouted), and the action sequences allow for plenty of bombast, the shootouts allowing shots to ricochet around your living room. The score is also perfectly suited to the material, Mark Mancina's Bad Boys theme riffing right from the opening credits, and pervasive throughout, getting keen use from the surrounds and making for another positive aspect of the soundtrack. But, despite this not being a particularly subtle movie, there is still a lack of depth and atmosphere to the track, few ambient elements coming to the forefront and the film really only existing on its high octane moments to provide you with aural sustenance, and even those lack the kind of LFE depth you would expect as commonplace these days. In that respect, it makes for a boisterous, in-your-face workout for your home cinema equipment but subtle, it is not, and it won't have your sofa rumbling either, as perhaps you'd hope.
Bad Boys

Extras

Commentary
He may have a reputation for being a horrible boss on set, and he may have a love-it-or-hate-it Marmite style to his direction, but - credit where due - Bay's energy and involvement makes for some of the best Commentaries out there. With seemingly infinite knowledge of the production, his discussions on the budget, the original script (which he admitted to be distinctly weak), the casting of the two leads and their contributions to the dialogue (noting several of the high-point improvised scenes) are all immensely interesting, and he retains his status as one of the most accessible, engaging Commentators out there.
Featurette
Putting the Boom & Bang in Bad Boys is the only other significant extra to have been ported over from the SD-DVD special edition, a 22 minute Featurette that delves into the effects side of this production. We get to look at everything from the arsenal of weapons on offer in this movie, to the explosive setpieces peppered throughout, with the crew offering up the bulk of the technical soundbites. Although this is quite an informative piece, and not your standard, fluffy, promotional extra, it does suffer from being restricted to one facet of the production.
Finally we get a bunch of Trailers (Legion, Bounty Hunter, The Karate Kid and Not the Messiah: He's a Very Naughty Boy) and Music Videos, including ones for Diane King's Shy Guy and Warren G's So Many Ways. It's worth noting that the menu is pretty nifty as well.
Bad Boys
Marking one hell of a kick-start to the film career of Will Smith, and a tremendous debut effort from the stylish, now over-the-top Director Michael Bay, it is a classic 90s action-comedy, taking a tried-and-tested buddy-buddy cop formula and throwing plenty of explosions, shootouts and car chases into the mix. Of course, the movie really stands out because of the excellent chemistry between Smith and his partner-in-crime Martin Lawrence, and it is really that facet that has won it its title as a classic. Through them, Bad Boys shifts from B-movie to A-grade, with enough style and enough insanely quotable dialogue to deserve a place in any action-movie-lovers collection. Finally on Blu-ray, Bay's glossy, heavily stylised imagery comes across remarkably well on the video front, even if its low budget and age does still show through, and the movie is noisy as hell, even if the audio track is not particularly nuanced, and is a bit lacking when it comes to bass. On the extras front, this one also does not quite include everything from the last SD-DVD release, but given the advantages of the High Def video, it still probably warrants an upgrade. Whatcha gonna do?
Bad Boys

Scores

Movie

.
.
8

Picture Quality

.
.
8

Sound Quality

.
.
.
7

Extras

.
.
.
.
6

Overall

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.
.
7
7
AVForumsSCORE
OUT OF
10

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