Bad Boys marked the return of producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, the creative duo behind the Beverly Hills Cop franchise. Even though the formulaic Bad Boys uses many themes and segments featured in their past inflated-budget blow-'em-ups, it still proves to be a relentless and high-octane thrill ride. Thanks in large part to the onscreen chemistry between Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, the audience will often forget that a majority of the narrative has been recycled from 48 Hours, Lethal Weapon, and Internal Affairs. The project also marked the directorial debut of Michael Bay, a music-video director who overpowers the narrative with flashy angles, incessant slow-motion, kinetic editing, and monochrome tilt shots. Still, despite the inventive cinematography and entertaining performances, Bad Boys takes the road often traveled and breaks no new boundaries. The film features such hackneyed action-movie stock characters as the tough-as-nails female sidekick, the hopelessly adoring wife, the sinister drug lord, and the frazzled, red-faced police captain. Those looking for a smart and fresh actioner in the vein of Die Hard will be disappointed with this predictable saga, while those looking for a brainless, bullet-blazing blow-out should look no farther than the trio of Bruckheimer, Simpson, and Bay (see also The Rock and Armageddon).