Back Add a Comment Share:
Introduction
Nearly ten years on, Michael Bay's Bad Boys still splits action fans’ opinions right down the middle; there are those who love it and those who think it doesn't contain enough action and has too much humour to be considered a serious action blockbuster. Personally I love it, so much so that I own the region four special edition. This is a review of one of Columbia Tristar’s latest Superbit titles, which they have released to coincide with the sequel, due out later this year in UK cinemas.

Bad Boys: Superbit
Movie
The premise behind Bad Boys is pretty simple; Mike Lowry (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) are Miami Narcotic officers. They are also buddies outside of work, but you wouldn't think so as they squabble like school children.  The duo's lives couldn't be more different, Mike is a womaniser who loves nothing more than impressing the ladies, while Marcus is more of a family man and loves his settled home life. Work is about to get harder for them when a consignment of heroin ($100 million to be precise!) is stolen from the police headquarters. There are suspicions that it is an inside job and the duo are given 72 hours to investigate. At the same time, one of Lowry's female friends called Maxine (Karen Alexander) is murdered at a party, and the only witness is a girl named Julie (Tea Leoni).

Julie is obviously terrified by what she has seen and contacts Lowry, as she thinks he is the only person that she can trust. Marcus answers her call and realises that the murder has something to do with the drug robbery, so in the absence of his colleague he decides to impersonate Lowry and arranges a meeting with Julie. It becomes clear that Julie will only trust Lowry, so for the rest of the film Marcus pretends to be his super-cool partner, while Lowry himself has to pretend to be a family man! That’s the comedy aspect of the movie, but there is still some time for the pair to hunt down the robbers, while at the same time protecting the only witness.

Bad Boys: Superbit
Video
As I mentioned at the beginning, I actually own the R4 Collectors edition which in my opinion had a reasonable transfer already. However, this Superbit release does have the slight edge. Columbia have once again kept to the theatrical aspect ratio which is 1.85:1, and this transfer is also anamorphically enhanced. The transfer is better defined, and the overall image is clearer than in previous releases. The print itself is in excellent condition and showed no sign of damage or specks. One of the outstanding aspects of this transfer is the colour palette which is vibrant and true, while black levels are solid. I would probably go as far as saying that this transfer is practically reference quality, the only slight blemish being edge enhancements which are visible on a few occasions. Apart from that there is no sign of compression artifacts and grain levels are kept to a minimum.  Overall a superb effort from Columbia.

Audio
Columbia have provided two soundtracks with this release, the first being the Dolby Digital 5.1 track that was available on the special edition release, and the other one a magnificent DTS track. The 5.1 track is a very competent effort, but there is no comparison to the DTS track. For starters, the use of the rears is considerably better, which can be seen in several places, but especially during the car chase at the end. In fact, Bad Boys is the sort of movie which makes full use of a surround track. Things such as bullets whizzing past, cars screeching by and aeroplanes flying overhead are all effects which sound lifelike with this track.  The DTS track sounds much clearer, richer and generally has a better feel to it. The bass levels are excellent, while the dialogue is audible and clear throughout. Also worth noting is the musical score, which is expertly portrayed by this track. This DTS track is worth the purchase price alone.

Bad Boys: Superbit
Extras
Superbit releases mean no extras, and this release is not different. All we get with this disc is a very simplistic menu system which allows you to select subtitles, audio tracks and the option to play the movie. If you want extras relating to this movie then you are better off getting the special edition release.

Overall
Bad Boys is one of the best action movies from the 90s, so I suppose it was only a matter of time before Columbia released a Superbit version. You'll either love or hate the onscreen chemistry between Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, and the outcome of this will largely dictate whether or not you are a fan of the movie. In my opinion Bad Boys has real character, is funny as well as action packed, and deserves to be a part of everyone’s DVD collection. This is my first Superbit title, so I was intrigued to see how it compared to the special edition I own. The transfer was a slight improvement, while the DTS soundtrack is far superior to any other soundtrack I have heard for this movie. I suppose your purchase of this disc will come down to whether you want to witness the movie in all its wonder or would prefer extras. For the movie purists among you, I can definitely recommend this release.


Links: