Bad Boys appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The image proved to be satisfying.
Overall definition seemed good. A few wider shots came across as a smidgen soft, but those didn’t create notable distreactions. Moiré effects and jagged edges caused no concerns, and I noticed no edge haloes. In terms of print flaws, the movie lacked specks, marks or other issues.
Colors looked positive. Though not as dominant as in later films, Michael Bay’s affection for orange and teal showed up here. The hues seemed well-rendered; they could’ve had a little more zing, but they were good.
Black levels looked deep and rich, and shadows offered positive clarity. The movie came with a bunch of low-light situations, and these showed mostly strong delineation. I found this to be a very good image.
I also liked the film's DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack. One expects a slam-bang audio experience from a shoot-em-up like this, and the mix usually delivered. The soundfield often was very encompassing and rich, with all five speakers providing useful and realistic audio detail. Sounds were nicely localized and panned well between the channels.
Audio quality seemed generally strong as well, with only a few exceptions. Dialogue appeared warm and natural, with no problems related to intelligibility. Music seemed clear and concise, with bright and broad tones, and effects were largely realistic and clean; very little distortion came through during the film.
Dynamic range usually appeared terrific, with some deep bass at times, but some scenes came across as curiously flat. These were rare, but during a couple of the many gun battles, I felt that the audio packed a surprisingly meek punch. Even with those exceptions, the track still worked well, though the small concerns kept Bad Boys from possibly rating higher than its "B+".
How does the 2015 4K remastered Blu-ray compare to the original 2010 Blu-ray? Audio was virtually identical, but visuals offered improvements. The 2015 BD looked cleaner and tighter, and it also displayed superior delineation in low-light situations. Shadows had always been a problem for this film, but they seemed clearer here. Fans will be pleased with this image, as it’s the best the movie’s looked.
The 2015 Blu-ray replicates the extras from the 2010 BD. First up is an audio commentary from director Michael Bay. He provides a running, screen-specific look at cast and performances, sets and locations, action and stunts, effects, story/characters and connected elements.
On the negative side, the commentary suffers from a fair amount of dead air. Bay doesn’t vanish for super-long periods of time, be we get more empty spots than expected.
When Bay does speak, however, he offers a pretty terrific look at the movie. Relentlessly frank, Bay gives us an unvarnished take on the production, and he doesn’t shy away from stories about problems that he experienced. Most directors ladle out the happy talk, but Bay prefers to go in the opposite direction, and that helps make this a fascinating chat.
A featurette called Putting the Boom and the Bang in Bad Boys appears here. It runs 23 minutes, 54 seconds and primarily examines the action effects side of making the film. We hear from Bay, pyrotechnicians Anthony Simonaitis and Mike Meinardus, weapons handler Mike Papic, and actors Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.
Although I would have liked to learn more about the production’s creative side, this program gives us a good "nuts and bolts" look at an underexamined side of movie magic: the use of guns and pyrotechnics. After all, we often hear a lot about computer graphics and other more fantastical work, but we don't usually see a close examination of this kind of real-world mayhem. The piece offers a pretty interesting take on the subject matter.
In addition to two trailers - not found on the prior Blu-ray - Bad Boys features three music videos. The most interesting is the first: "Shy Guy" by Diana King. For the most part, this is a pretty standard video for a movie. It shows King as she lip-synchs the song, and her parts are intercut with clips from the movie itself.
The video stands as more compelling than most because both Smith and Lawrence appear in footage specifically shot for the promo, in both introductory and fadeout bits plus some pieces that pop up sporadically throughout the song. It's not a great video, but it's mildly enjoyable.
It certainly tops the other two videos. "So Many Ways" by Warren G. is a very standard affair; it combines the usual film clips with dull shots of Mr. G. as he performs. Yawn!
Still, I'll take bland over obnoxious, which is why "Five O, Five O (Here They Come)" by 69 Boyz featuring K-Nock is easily the worst of the three videos. It's a genuinely annoying song in the tradition of junk like "Whoomp! There It Is" and the video - which alters the usual lip-synch/movie clip formula by having the performers dance and sing over a video background - made me wish I could perform my own firearms demonstration on my TV. Avoid it at all costs.
Despite my affection for dopey action films, I simply have never found much to like about Bad Boys. The overall level of the production seems decent but it lacks any particularly special elements to make it noteworthy. The Blu-ray offers strong picture and audio as well as a minor collection of supplements. I’m not wild about the film, but this turns into a reasonably good release.
Note that as of November 2015, this 4K remaster of Bad Boys can be purchased only as part of a two-movie “20th Anniversary Collection”. This pairs it with the Blu-ray debut of Bad Boys II. An older transfer of Bad Boys appears on Blu-ray, but this package is the only way to get the 2015 4K remaster.
To rate this film, visit the Superbit review of BAD BOYS