Bad Boys & Bad Boys II Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Directed by Michael Bay and starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, Ralph Potts reviews this two-film set making its Ultra HD debut from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, that features Smith and Lawrence as loose cannon narcotics detectives solving major crimes in Miami with action and humor.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

90

Details:

Studio and Year: Sony Pictures – 1995, 2003
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 119/147 minutes
Genre: Action/Comedy

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 1.85:1/2.39:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1, English DTS-HD 5.1, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Tea Leoni, Tcheky Karyo, Joe Pantaliano, Theresa Randle, Gabrielle Union, Peter Stormare
Directed by: Michael Bay
Music by: Mark Mancina, Trevor Rabin
Written by: Michael Barrie, Jim Mulholland, Doug Richardson, Ron Shelton, Jerry Stahl
Region Code: A,B,C

Release Date: September 4, 2018

“Whatcha Gonna Do??”

My Take:

Bad Boys: One hundred million dollars’ worth of confiscated drugs has just been jacked from police custody. Once the career bust of Detectives Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence), the missing drugs now threaten to shut down the Narcotics Division of the Miami Police Department. When the drug investigation turns deadly, the murderers kidnap the only witness, a beautiful police informant (Téa Leoni) and close friend of the boys.

Bad Boys II: The action and comedy never stop when superstars Martin Lawrence and Will Smith reunite as out-of-control trash-talking buddy cops. Bullets fly, cars crash, and laughs explode as they pursue a whacked-out drug lord from the streets of Miami to the barrios of Cuba. But the real fireworks result when Lawrence discovers that playboy Smith is secretly romancing his sexy sister.

I previously reviewed Bad Boys on Blu-ray and have included my earlier comments here. Ratings for film, and bonus content will be the same, as they are identical to the originals. New comments and ratings for the Ultra HD video and Dolby Atmos sound are below.

Prior to reviewing 2010’s Blu-ray release I had never seen Bad Boys>. I am a Will Smith fan however I think the primary reason I never went out of my way to see it is the presence of Martin Lawrence who I generally find annoying. I had heard good things about it and, being a genre fan, I looked forward to finally checking it out in high definition. Bad Boys is a Michael Bay/Jerry Bruckheimer collaboration featuring a typically shallow plotline that revolves around cops, bad guys, and drugs while featuring cardboard cutout characterizations and bombastic action. It works just fine though as Lawrence/Smith make a good pairing that adds to the fun while Tea Leoni lends a strong, sexy female presence that fits into the fold nicely.

My man Joe (Joey Pants) Pantaliano seems a little out of place and, underused as the grumbling but supportive narcotics Captain and, Marg Helgenberger’s nagging role of the internal affairs officer out to shut the unit down adds little. Neither detracts from the film’s primary focus which is to get to the wise cracking comradery, action-based set pieces and, sexy interplay that makes Bad Boys fun to watch. I am still not a Martin Lawrence fan but, he didn’t spoil my enjoyment of this formulaic and entertaining action thriller.

2003’s follow-up Bad Boys II continues much in the same vein only not as fun. The drug ecstasy is flowing into Miami, and the police want it stopped. Police Detective Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) and his partner, Mike Lowrey (Will Smith), are just the men to do it. They track the drugs to a Cuban smuggler, Johnny Tapia (Jordi Mollà), who is also involved in a bloody war with Russian and Haitian mobsters. If that isn’t bad enough, there’s tension between the two cops because Lowrey is romantically involved with Burnett’s sister, Syd (Gabrielle Union).

Bad Boys II feels more like a rehashing of its predecessor, providing larger action set pieces and a bigger helping of Smith/Lawrence banter, which frankly, becomes tiresome. Add to that, another witless wonder leading the bad guys and it all feels rather been there done that, only better. Whereas Bad Boys felt sort of edgy as a buddy/cop flick, Bad Boys II doesn’t but, that isn’t to say that checking one’s brain at the door won’t allow it to make for solid popcorn entertainment.

This four-disc collection comes house in an attractive and sturdy package with each set getting their own keep case and secure disc placement.

At the end of the say Bad Boys and Bad Boys II are a fun double feature. Read on to see how they look and sound on Ultra HD Blu-ray.

Replay Value:

Parental Guide:

The rating is for strong violence and action, pervasive language, sexuality and drug content.

AUDIO/VIDEO – By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

UHD Presentation: 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color:
  • Resolution: 
  • Visual Impact: 

Dolby Atmos Rating: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Level of immersion: 
  • Soundstage integration: 
  • Audio object placement: 
  • Effectiveness: 
  • Entertainment factor: 

Bad Boys and Bad Boys II come to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 sound.

According to the press documentation Sony remastered Bad Boys and Bad Boys II from the original 35mm film elements, and I believe each presentation in Ultra HD is derived from the 4K Digital Intermediate.

It’s important to note that the ultimate goal for any release on home video is to present a film in the highest possible quality based upon its original elements. Each of these films have an aesthetic that incorporates film grain and the use of optics that may not result in the type of high gloss, tack-like sharpness of a film shot using digital cameras. This isn’t a problem and shouldn’t be seen as such.

Looking at each of these films the benefits of not only the restoration, but the Ultra HD treatment, are blatantly obvious. From a cinematic perspective, these films were shot with a specific visual aesthetic in mind, and that comes through in each presentation. These easily best the 1080p versions, offering imagery that lifts the vail. I wouldn’t describe the first film as overtly colorful, however, there are elements, where the palate of secondary hues, sepia tones and variants of blue/red benefited from UHD’s wider color gamut, appearing slightly warmer and pleasing to the eye. Bad Boys II’s color rich imagery gets a boost, delivering eye catching delineation that emboldens depth. Resolution gets a noticeable upgrade as well. Close-ups and mid-level shots offer improved refinement and deeper resolvable texture on surfaces and physical features when compared to the Blu-ray.

The addition of high dynamic range added a pleasing visual element that enriched both natural and artificial light. I also felt that the dark/low-level sequences benefited from the application of HDR which emboldened their blacks and shadow delineation, which were rendered with excellent dimension, especially when coupled with brighter visual elements. Hands down, these Ultra HD renderings reinvigorate each of these films, making for a marked improvement that easily worth it for fans.

In listening to the Dolby Atmos soundtracks, I was pleased with how each mix was handled. When applied, the use of overhead sound objects elevated proportional correlation. When compared to the 5.1 channel mixes, the immersive sound offers a noticeable improvement by opening up the soundstage, elevating the perception of low level detail. During the various encounters/action/interior/exterior venues featured in each film, the tracks brim with atmospherics which adds an enriching layer to the film’s soundtrack. This is noticeable right from the beginning, with examples being found throughout.

Bad Boys doesn’t have the solidity and dynamism that Bad Boys II has, which leaves it feeling a bit dated but, I would prefer to have it retain the original recording’s overall essence rather than sounding forced and bloated. When called for the Dolby Atmos mixes took a subtle or more active approach, and conveyed the spirit and overall feel of the original soundtracks while adding a complimentary element. I enjoyed each and had a good time revisiting them.

For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Bonus Features:

  • Disc 1: Bad Boys Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: Bad Boys Blu-ray
  • Disc 3: Bad Boys II Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 4: Bad Boys II Blu-ray
  • Legacy Bonus Material
  • Digital Copies of Bad Boys and Bad Boys II

Final Thoughts:

Bad Boys and Bad Boys II is popcorn entertainment that is just plain fun, and worth revisiting from time to time (especially in the case of the first film). They are making their Ultra HD debut in this 4-disc set from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring beautifully restored Ultra HD video, complimentary Dolby Atmos immersive sound, and legacy bonus supplements. If you’re a fan and are equipped to take advantage of the Ultra HD/Dolby Atmos upgrades this Ultra HD release is highly recommended.

 

 

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton “Ergo” and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems