“I ain’t afraid of anything.”
A juvenile delinquent (Sean Penn) is sent to prison after accidentally killing the brother of a rival gang member (Esai Morales). Meanwhile, Morales gets revenge by raping Penn’s girlfriend (Sheedy), and appears in prison ready for a showdown.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Character Arc
- Juvenile Delinquents
Bad Boys edges dangerously close to a juvie exploitation flick in its familiar tale of a teen from a broken home who find himself battling both personal demons — and literal enemies — in a detention center. Fortunately, the film’s predictable storyline is redeemed by several notable performances, including a young Esai Morales as Penn’s nemesis (four years before his breakthrough role as Ritchie Valens’ brother in La Bamba), and Sean Penn in one of his earliest powerhouse performances. While we can predict the final narrative arc of the movie long before it arrives, we care enough about both Penn and Morales (a rare feat in a film where one character is clearly the protagonist) to hope things end well for them.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Sean Penn in an early star-making role
- Esai Morales as Penn’s nemesis
- Ally Sheedy as Penn’s girlfriend
No, but it’s recommended simply for the performances by Penn and Morales.