Bad Boys II appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The image looked terrific.
Sharpness was always tight and well defined. I noticed virtually no instances of softness in this accurate and detailed presentation. I saw no concerns with jagged edges or shimmering, and print flaws seemed totally absent. Edge haloes also failed to create distractions.
As expected, Bay infused Bad Boys II with a highly stylized palette. We got Bay Standard Teal and Orange, and the disc demonstrated solid reproduction of those tones.
Black levels were dark and rich, and shadow detail came across as concise and well developed. The latter marked an improvement from the first film; at that time, we saw iffy lighting for the dark-skinned actors, but no such concerns appeared here. This became an impressive transfer.
I also liked the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, as it gave us the kind of slam-bang mix that one would anticipate from a loud action flick like this. The soundfield used all five channels to great effect. Since the film poured on the raucous set pieces, the track got more than a few opportunities to shine, and it lived up to expectations. Elements always seemed accurately placed and they meshed together smoothly.
The surrounds contributed good ambience during the rare quiet scenes, and they kicked into overdrive during the many loud ones. Check out the extended car chase at around the half an hour mark to find some vivid and involving audio. Cars zoomed all over the spectrum, bullets flew, and the piece created a great sense of action.
Audio quality also seemed positive. Speech was always natural and distinctive, and I noticed no concerns connected to edginess or intelligibility. Music often got subsumed to the action pieces, but the score and songs nonetheless came across as lively and well reproduced, with a good presentation of dynamics.
Effects were accurate and detailed. They seemed firmly displayed and showed great punch. All those elements were tight and concise, and they never suffered from any distortion. Overall, Bad Boys II gave us an excellent soundtrack.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the original DVD? Audio appeared warmer and more dynamic, while visuals seemed tighter, clearer and smoother. Especially in terms of picture quality, this turned into a notable improvement over the DVD.
The Blu-ray replicates most of the DVD’s extras, and we open with seven deleted scenes. These fill a total of seven minutes, 19 seconds. Given the movie’s bloated length, I’m shocked they left anything on the cutting room floor. None of the deleted sequences add anything; they’re forgettable.
Next we find two featurettes. Stunts runs nine minutes, 29 seconds and offers comments from director Michael Bay, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, stunt coordinators Andy Gill and Steve Picerni, and special effects supervisor John Frazier. This quick show basically offers an overview of various stunt topics that I expect will receive greater coverage later. It stands as an effective sampler, though, as we get a nice feel for some of the film’s challenges.
The second featurette concentrates on Visual Effects. It lasts 18 minutes, 38 seconds as we hear from Bay and visual effects supervisor Rob Legato. Another good sampler, this one moves through situations like car chases and special bullet effects to give us a nice demonstration of various computer-created techniques. We go through the steps well in this useful program.
After this we get three trailers and a music video for Jay-Z’s “La-La-La”. Mostly just the usual combination of movie bits and lip-syncing, neither the song nor the video offers anything particularly compelling.
In the Sequence Breakdown area we focus on six different segments. With a total running time of 45 minutes, 21 seconds, these present raw footage from the set – very raw much of the time, as you’ll hear quite a lot of profanity when things go wrong.
Releases for Bay flicks often include material like this, and these segments remain a breath of fresh air. Whereas most productions try to make out everything to be happy happy, joy joy, Bay’s not afraid to let us see the rougher side of things. Indeed, he comes across like a pushy prick on occasion as he shouts things like “keep fuckin’ moving, guys – keep fuckin’ moving!” The presentation also adds text to explain things when necessary, which helps make the pieces more educational. Overall, we find lots of great images from the production and get a fine feel for how things went on the set.
The final domain presents 19 Production Diaries. These segments last a total of one hour, seven minutes and 10 seconds.
The components mostly show footage from the set, but we also get a fair number of interview snippets as well. These include comments from Bay, Bruckheimer, actors Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Yul Vazquez, Joe Pantoliano, Jordi Molla, Gabrielle Union, Dan Marino, and Peter Stormare, law enforcement advisor Bill Erfurth, military and technical advisor Harry Humphries, stunt coordinators Andy Gill and Steve Picerni, property owner Eric Cherry, and special effects supervisor John Frazier.
The programs start with a diary that reflects on the first movie, and they then trace various elements of the production. We watch the actors’ training for the TNT team and examine behind the scenes elements of many other components. We also check out lots of raw dailies, which let us see multiple outtakes. As with the prior “Breakdowns”, these remain nicely fresh and honest. Actually, a little bit of fluffiness emerges on occasion, but much less than usual, and the segments generally seem informative and enjoyable. You’ll learn a lot about the making of the film in these entertaining and well-made clips.
Too bad Bad Boys II itself isn’t as interesting. The movie pours on the high-priced mayhem but never delivers a compelling story, intriguing characters, or anything else that would turn it into a stimulating action flick. The Blu-ray offers excellent picture and audio along with an interesting set of supplements. While I don’t like the film, I can’t complain about this high-quality Blu-ray.
Note that as of November 2015, Bad Boys II can be purchased only as part of a two-movie “20th Anniversary Collection”. This pairs Bad Boys II with a 4K remaster of the original Bad Boys.
To rate this film, visit the original review of BAD BOYS 2