Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5
USA, 1995. Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer Films. Story by George Gallo, Screenplay by Michael Barrie, Jim Mulholland, Doug Richardson. Cinematography by Howard Atherton. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, Don Simpson. Music by Mark Mancina. Production Design by John Vallone. Costume Design by Bobbie Read. Film Editing by Christian Wagner.
The great chemistry between the two stars of this loud, excessive action film makes it a very smooth ride. Martin Lawrence and Will Smith are perfectly matched (with box-office results confirming audience agreement of this) as undercover narcotics cops in Miami who are in hot water when a huge shipment of heroine that they have just impounded disappears from the vault. They have a limited time in which to find out who is behind the theft and then get it back before their department is completely investigated and possibly shut down by Internal Affairs.
Their journey into the world of drugs also leads them to a key murder witness (Téa Leoni) who is terrified of the police and wants them solely to protect her in their custody. Trouble is, a mixup has led Leoni to think that Lawrence is Smith and vice-versa, forcing Lawrence to impersonate his partner’s rich-living, girl-swinging lifestyle while Smith stays home with Mrs. Lawrence and pretends to be a suburban daddy.
Lots of overly precious situations that never ring true abound here, but Michael Bay is well aware of the ridiculous nature of his film and therefore concentrates on keeping it lively. The action scenes have great energy to them, the dialogue is funny and the performances all endlessly appealing. A shame its parts don’t add up to a better whole, but you won’t regret it either. Followed by an abysmal sequel eight years later.