On this day in comedy on April 7, 1995, Bad Boys was released by Columbia Pictures
Starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, this buddy flick is Michael Bay’s directorial debut. The story centers around two narcotic detectives in Miami, Florida on a case. After $100 million of their seized heroin is stolen from the police vault Internal Affairs suspects it was an inside job and the narcotics division has a week to recover the missing drugs or they’re going to be shut down. Smith enlists one of his informants (Karen Alexander) to see what she can find out on the streets about a recent big robbery Alexander and her friend, (Tea Leoni) pose as escorts for a baller’s party. Things go south, and Alexander and the baller are killed. Leoni manages to escape but will only tell her tale to Smith. Unfortunately, he’s away when she calls into the station, but Lawrence is there and the police captain (Joe Pantoliano) talks him into impersonating Smith (since Leoni never met him) so she will cooperate. Lawrence does, and they meet up.
The conflict arises because Lawrence is married to a jealous wife (aren’t they all) and must now live Smith’s life for a while until they can bust the thieves. Smith returns to find out he now has to live Lawrence’s life. The problem is Smith is a happy bachelor with all kinds of women stopping through; women Lawrence must kick out, so he can continue his investigation and stay faithful to his wife. Needless to say, Smith is not happy living at Lawrence’s house. Meanwhile, the thieves realize Leoni saw the murder and now they’re after her. The chase is on, but after a series of near-death experiences and multiple gunfights the criminals are killed, order is restored and Lawrence cuffs Smith and Leoni up together, so he can go explain to his wife why he’s been running around with a white woman.
Bad Boys was produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer. It featured the talents of Theresa Randle, John Salley, Michael Imperioli and Marg Helgenberger. Originally it was written for Jon Lovitz and Dana Carvey. Then once the script was retooled, Arsenio Hall was approached to play the Will Smith role. Hall later admitted turning down that part was the worse career mistake he ever made.
Though it received mixed reviews, Bad Boys was a commercial success. On a budget of $19 million it made $65,807,024 domestically and $75,600,000 internationally for a worldwide box office gross of $141,407,024.
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton
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