Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Whatcha gonna do?
It has been almost twenty years since the release of the first Bad Boys film, and I was disappointed in myself for never getting around to watching it. Surely I had the time, and yet…I let it slip by me….until recently. However, it seemed my excitement for the film was washed down by a lot of cliché ‘90s cheese, and I just wasn’t that impressed overall. However, I believe in Will Smith, and thought to myself that the second one has to be better. It is eight years later, which means plenty of time for development, and it also means it has a better chance at meeting modern expectations in film. So how does the sequel fair? Better. Much better.
The story this time around is obviously the boys are back and better than ever after working together for at least a decade. However, Marcus has had enough of Mike and has decided to transfer. Meanwhile Mike is dating Marcus’s sister behind his back, but they must set aside their difference to take care of the new baddies in town, some ecstasy-dealing/smuggling crazies that use mortuaries as their smuggling grounds.
Couple things: it is now past the millennium, so no longer is there any more ‘90s cheese – like I mentioned above, but you also have to take into consideration that Will Smith has really been able to increase his on-screen chemistry and mold it into something of his own, and for the first time in this series, I finally felt as if he belonged. Same goes for Martin Lawrence, as their chemistry has remained intact throughout the years, if not increased. Another thing, the plot of this film I don’t feel is as strong as the first…in theory, but it’s presentation is a lot stronger, and honestly exactly what I was expecting out of this series from the get go. A lot of action, a lot of thrills, violence, and of course, a lot of great humor from Smith and Lawrence. If I were to decide between the first and second movie, this would, by far, be my go-to choice.
From what I can tell, these films need original stories and a couple main plots – a main drug-centered plot with some serious baddies, and a more humorous sideplot between Smith and Lawrence. Last time it was the life-switching gig, this time it was a few different things. Mike dating the sister, Marcus getting high, some nods to the first film, and some racial jokes between the two black guys and the two Hispanic guys, etc. So as far as the humorous subplots go, it wasn’t quite as unique as the first film, but it is played naturally and honestly, and somehow it makes me like it more.
When I look at the two films independently, they are a lot alike in very different ways, which is hard to accomplish for any sequel, let alone one that came out 8 years after the first. You ask me, that’s a huge accomplishment, because they not only kept the tones that made the first one great, but they added onto it was a more modern approach to violence, action, and humor that overall makes this film really good. It’s still not my favorite Will Smith role, but it is very funny and so totally a dude’s movie.
They did things so much better this time around by getting rid of that ‘90s cheese that dulled down the first one, and adding in more heart-pounding action, violence, and humor. Will Smith has learned the tricks of the trade by now, and he is clearly in his comfort zone, ultimately making this the “go-to” Bad Boys film in the franchise.
It’s still not the best movie in the world, and maybe I say that because I rarely care for drug-centered movie plots, but it is presented pretty well here, so I don’t have too much to actually complain about.
Mike Lowery: We ride together, we die together. Bad boys for life.