Bad Boys (1983)

Image of Bad Boys film posterI liked Sean Penn in Fast Times a Ridgemont High, Jeff Spicoli was possibly one of the single most beloved and influential film characters of the 80s. But it wasn’t until seeing him in Bad Boys that I became a huge fan of the early Penn. Now he ain’t much of a director, and his latest film Into the Wild (2007) confirms that without question (was it simply a bad Eddie Vedder music video that forced Hal Holbrook to run up a mountain?). So, in tribute to my favorite Sean Penn role as the Chi-town badass Irishman Jimmy O’Brien, here’s a hard hitting clip from Bad Boys.

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5 Responses to Bad Boys (1983)

  1. Scott Leslie says:

    Ah dude, why you gotta go do that – point out this memorable scene from an agreed great early Penn film but then harsh out on “Into the Wild”? I guess you just like to bait me so that I’ll get a chance to learn from the master.

    Ok then, what was so bad about it? Sure, it ran a bit slow at parts and maybe relied a bit much on the soundtrack, but it had its moment. The final scene is fantastic – my wife and I watched it together and totally disagreed on what it meant, but only because of the depth it invited, not because either of us was wrong.

    And how about “The Indian Runner”? Are you gonna start in on him for that too? I’m just sorry to hear you’re not actually coming to Logan in a few weeks; I was looking forward to re-educating *you* a bit 😉

  2. I am not sure if it is my love of Vedder, the book, Penn, or a combination of the three, but I feel you were too harsh on the film as well. While it far from perfect, I thought Into The Wild was an admirable debut film for Penn. I felt he expressed the essence of the book.

  3. Reverend says:

    @Scott and Jabiz,

    Indian Runner may be the best of a bad lot (that was his debut film @Jabiz). I find Penn’s films far too indulgent in a pseudo artistic temperament. Vigo Mortenson was good in the Indian Runner, and the whole brother thing makes for some interesting angles, but ultimately it rang false and hollow. And I think the same can be said of Into the Wild.

    The music annoyed me to no end, having the great Hal Holbrook climb up that mountain at 80 years old was just Penn trying to give a cameo to show his heart is in the right place, that’s fine, but it ain’t good filmmaking.

    Moreover, I could care less about the kid in that film. Quite frankly he was annoying. And seeing him in the bus for about 45 minutes of the film being deep was just irksome. Vince Vaughn was the only character I liked. The film had no pacing, just like There Will be Blood (another overrated nightmare of a film). I admit these two are better than some films out there, but only because there is so much shit. Penn is not a director, he has no sense of space, and his shots and montage are pretty unimpressive.

    Back to the music, Eddie Veder’s soundtrack seemed like some moralistic Greek chorus singing about this lost Odysseus of the Great White North. The comic elements of this character that are apparent in the novel are totally lost in the film. Penn takes the subject far too seriously and tries to make a case for this kid being some kind of hero which is preposterous. I mean what does being a hero mean in 2007? Giving up an inheritance and shitting with some bears. He is an assinine figure, and in our organic, hippie loving moment it would seem like he would be the perfect symbol of a move back to nature and all that is beautiful and right. But as Herzog notes, nature is brutal and mean and eats hippies for breakfast. Well, I guess all is not lost for at least he died at the end 🙂

  4. Reverend says:

    PS Scott:

    I am a terrible ‘baiter 😉 Will be missing you at Logan, but looks like all travel money here at UMW is about to freeze up with budget cuts so I will most likely be going no where this year. Which kinda sucks and is kinda good because the travel always kills my wallet and my momentum. Hopefully NV 2009, but that looks pretty sketchy as of now.

  5. Gerry says:

    I haven’t seen “Into the Wild” but I agree with you on the most part, Rev. First off, forgive my sacrilege but anything Eddie Vedder is involved in is something I stay far away from. Yeah, he was interesting when PJ’s “10” came out but that was about the beginning and end of it for me. Am I the only one who thinks he can’t sing?

    And Penn takes himself wayyyyyy too seriously. I wonder if the fanaticism surrounding the Jeff Spicoli character, the role that really ushered him to stardom, is something he’s been trying to live down his whole life. Has he been in ANY other comedy since? Methinks he has a complex.

    I disagree with you on “There Will Be Blood”. PT Anderson is (as I’ve argued before) one of the best directors of our generation.

    I’d like to see that kid from “Into the Wild” kickin’ it with Aguerre and his wrath of god. 🙂

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