Bad Boys: the cult places of the saga in Miami and elsewhere
Bad Boys (Michael Bay – 1995)
Michael Bay’s cameras were set up almost exclusively in Miami, Florida. Filming took place from June 27 to August 31, 1994.
Tyler-Adams Hotel & Apartments – 2030 Park Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida, USA
The main residence of Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) is located in this luxurious apartment complex. Formerly Collins Park Hotel, it is located in the Art Deco district of Miami and has a huge swimming pool in the center. Hardened bachelor and seducer, Lowrey teams up with Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence). This shock duo of policemen is also friends in life.
737 North West 15th Avenue, Miami, Florida, USA
Marcus Burnett’s house is located in this residential area of Miami, not far from the Miami River. Married and a father, the character played by Martin Lawrence is the exact opposite of his teammate Lowrey. During the shooting of the feature film, Michael Bay often gave his two actors carte blanche to improvise because he disagreed with the original script. These moments also give more life and naturalness to the film. Will Smith was hired by the director after he had watched an episode of The Prince of Bel Air in which the young actor excelled.
The police station
This Miami courthouse was the setting for the police station where Marcus and Mike work. It houses the Dade County Court and was opened in 1928. The police duo has 72 hours to find the thieves of the 100 kilos of heroin stolen from the premises of this building. The music for the film won two awards: a Grammy Award for the song Someone to Love and a BMI Film & TV Award for Best Film Music. As for the Porsche used by the policemen, it belonged at the time to Tchéky Karyo, the French actor in vogue in the United States who played the bad guy in this first part. This place was also used for scenes from Absence of Malice, the film directed by Sydney Pollack in 1981.
The location of the party and the double murder
This luxurious hotel saw the film crews arrive to figure out the locations for the film’s party scene. The participants were highly alcoholic but also under the influence of narcotics. During the rejoicing, Julie Mott (Téa Leoni) witnesses the double murder. She also dives into the huge swimming pool where Johnny Weissmuller – the famous actor who played Tarzan – is one of the swimming teachers. This hotel complex was also used as a hospital during the Second World War. Built in 1926, it has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1972. It was also the set for the television series Two Cops in Miami and CSI: Miami.
Bad Boys II (Michael Bay – 2003)
Eight years after the release of the first opus of the saga, Michael Bay is back at the helm of a new episode based on a script by Ron Shelton, Jerry Stahl and John Lee Hancock. The footage was filmed between July and December 2002, again mainly in Miami.
Johnny Tapia’s house
Known to be a Miami godfather, Johnny Tapia (Jordi Molla) creates a lucrative business with the sale of ecstasy pills. He doesn’t hesitate to irrigate the nightclub patrons of the city. This neo-Renaissance style building is the home of this powerful local baron. Located in the Coconut Groove near downtown Miami, it stands proudly in the middle of a 72.8-hectare park. Renowned since 1994, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens houses a 70-room museum and a botanical garden. It hosted a summit meeting between President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II, as well as the filming of Ace Ventura, Detective for Dogs and Cats, Sunday Hell, The Shipwrecked of the 747, and A Barracks for All.
The car chase and the accident in the bank
This crossroads in the city of Miami saw the actors of the second opus of the Bad Boys saga disembark to film a car chase and the resulting accident in the bank. Today, the building seems to be disused; but since everything is going very fast in the United States, it might be that if you look for it, it is active again in a different style. For the purposes of the scene, Michael Bay has obtained exceptional permission to close the McArthur Lane, one of the city’s busiest roads. It took several months of preparation and four days of shooting for this sequence alone. The Ferraris were tested by stuntman Henry Kingi. In order to film the cars as closely as possible and to give the spectators a feeling of immersion, a space-saving vehicle was built. Able to drive at over 100 km/h, it could support two cameras.
The arrest of members of the Ku Klux Klan
The camera crew got a little nosy. This superb green space is the setting for the scene of the arrest of the Ku Klux Klan members. This state park is located in Biscayne Bay in the suburbs of North Miami. The 422 hectares are a restful place, especially for the students on the adjacent campus. It has bicycle paths, canoe and kayak bases. To give more authenticity to the characters, the actors have taken courses in weapon handling. Michael Bay was advised by Harry Humphries, known for the same work on the film Rock, but also by William Erfurth, former head of the Miami City Drug Enforcement Unit.
City Hall in Cuba
Manati, Puerto Rico
To represent Cuba, Michael Bay has chosen Puerto Rico. This Caribbean island is an American territory with a free state status, a governor but under the authority of the President of the United States. An entire village was built by the film’s technical teams in this town of Manati, not far from San Juan, the capital. One of the most spectacular chase scenes was also filmed in this pasteboard setting. The city is known as Las Atenas de Puerto Rico (the Athens of Puerto Rico). Its name would be derived from the marine mammal, the manatee.
Bad Boys for Life (Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah – 2020)
Ten years after the last opus of the saga, Bad Boys for Life
Scene of the fight between Marcus and a biker.
Broadmoor 7450 Ocean Terrace, Miami Beach, FL 33141, USA
Like the two previous feature films, a large part of the scenes are filmed in Miami. So Marcus is attacked in front of this hotel not far from the beach by a biker. A fight breaks out between them. Martin Lawrence is dubbed for this stunt where his character is thrown to the ground. Then comes Lowrey, who relieves his teammate. In this feature film, they are once again together to fight against the baron of a drug cartel.
On January 14, 2019, the first scenes were filmed in Atlanta for several days. The film crews took an underground, downtown including Ted Turner Drive and Peachtree Center, but also the 17th Street Bridge and Sandy Springs, a northern suburb of the city in Fulton County.
“We ride together, we die together, Bad Boys for life”, this cult line from the saga is used for the title of the third part. In addition to the three feature films, Bad Boys was released as a television series under the title L.A.’s Finest with Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba (April 2019) and as a video game under the title Bad Boys II, developed by Blitz Games and Empire Interactive.
Miami and Atlanta are waiting for you to follow on the run Lowrey and Burnett, the worst cop duo in the movies!
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By Anthony Thibault
From the "Casimir generation", Anthony has kept (in addition to a passion for Goldorak) a taste for inventive images, experimentation and curiosity. Passionate about travel and pop culture, he co-founded Fantrippers with Nicolas Albert to share his passion with as many people as possible.