Bad Boys is a gritty, suspenseful film dealing with drugs, rape, death and young delinquents existing in a hostile environment. I just want to point out that this is NOT the Michael Bay film of the 90's! This version of Bad Boys was released in 1983 to moderate success at the box office, compared to the summer blockbuster status of the newer Bad Boys films. Rick Rosenthal (Halloween 2) occupied the director's chair with strong support coming from Sean Penn, Esai Morales and Reni Santoni. The story goes like this: Mick O'Brien (Penn) is being held in a juvenile facility for the vehicular manslaughter of his rival's younger brother. The rest of the plot is a riveting tale of suspense as his nemesis Paco (played by Morales) rapes Mick's beloved girlfriend while Mick is still in prison. This vengeful act lands Paco in the same prison where our character Mick currently resides. What follows? You guessed it; a barrel full of drama as a dramatic confrontation between Mick and Paco ensues! I first saw Bad Boys a few years ago after I purchased it for 3 dollars in a used movie bin. It ended up being the best three dollars that I ever spent! It really is that good of a movie. I realize I might be a sucker for early 80's dramas, but I rank Bad Boys as the most under-rated film of Sean Penn's entire career. It's hard to believe that he was only 22 in the movie, having just come off the set of Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Esai Morales is solid throughout as Penn's rival as well. Apparently Esai used to get quite a bit of attention from young girls visiting the set. This left Sean Penn in a crabby and malicious mood, which resulted in him getting a gym membership and having some prep talk with director Rick Rosenthal. For more on that conversation I suggest you listen to the films commentary track. All of the acting in Bad Boys is 100 percent believable at all times. I actually felt like I was in a deadly prison environment where one minute I have a best friend and the next he's making a stereo to blow up in my face! Oh yes
Bad Boys is that bad! On a more technical note, I really enjoyed some of the steadicam shots that follow characters down various stairways and around sharp corners. There is even a mistake in the last 10 minutes of the film where you can plainly see a steadicam operator directly in the shot! But it is barely noticeable considering how intense the last few scenes are! The movie itself is rather dark in some spots; which is probably the result of the lower budget price tag. But nonetheless, this film is much better than any other teen angst movie of the 80's that I've seen (including Coppola's 'The Outsiders' released in theatres only 2 days later!). There is really so much more to Bad Boys then I can write in these few paragraphs. It paints a dark picture for the American judicial system and an even darker picture for dramas of the early 80's. Please see this movie!
10 OUT OF 10