Sometimes movie sequels quickly follow their predecessor in order to capitalize on their popularity. There are also a handful of instances where a sequel will come a number of years after the original, looking to rely on nostalgia to bring audiences to movie theaters. One such Will Smith film did just that and now the film finds itself climbing the Hulu most-watched chart, settling in at number 6.
Bad Boys for Life is the sequel in question and more than likely wouldn’t have been missed had it not been made. The original hit film, Bad Boys, was released in 1995 and starred Will Smith and Martin Lawrence with the popular pair reprising their roles again in 2003s Bad Boys II.
A third film was discussed and after five years, in 2008, the two films’ original director, Michael Bay, had announced a third film was in the works. Twelve years later, that film finally hit the cineplexes.
Bad Boys for Life once again has Will Smith and Martin Lawrence reprising their roles as Detectives Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett. We catch up with our Bad Boys as Marcus is telling his partner Mike that he is going to retire.
At this same time, the widow of cartel kingpin Benito Aretas, Isabel, breaks out of prison with the help of her son Armando. She then gives him the order to recover a substantial amount of money that her late husband had hidden plus she wants Armando to kill every person involved with his death but leave Mike Lowery for last.
Armando, though, decides to take out Lowrey first, much to his mother’s disappointment. He doesn’t complete the mission, instead, sending Lowrey into a coma. While Lowrey lingers for months in the coma, Armando continues to assassinate those on his mother’s list.
When Will Smith’s Detective Mike Lowrey finally wakes from his coma, Marcus has already retired. Mike tries but is unsuccessful in talking Marcus out of his retirement.
Mike is on a mission to find out who tried to kill him. Knowing that he won’t let up, Captain Howard (Joe Pantoliano) allows Mike to join the hunt. In doing so, though, Mike must work with the Advanced Miami Metro Operations unit, a group of young, specialized police officers. The new unit is run by Mike’s ex-girlfriend, Rita.
Captain Howard, while assigning Mike to AMMO, also tells him of his plans to retire. As he is sharing his future plans with Mike, Armando arrives and kills the captain. The captain’s death brings Marcus out of retirement and the two begin their quest to find out who is behind all the killings.
During their search, Mike reveals to Marcus that it’s possible Armando is his son. The pair, continuing to work with the young guns from AMMO, are able to track down Isabel and Armando and find out the truth.
When Michael Bay announced the third film in the series back in 2008, he was also planning on coming back to direct. Plans for that were scuttled as Bay’s high-priced salary combined with Will Smith’s took Bay out of the running.
Between the 2008 announcement and the start of production in 2018, the script went through a number of screenwriters. In 2015, Joe Carnahan was brought on board to script another draft of the story and it was thought he’d take over the helm for Bay.
Carnahan’s story was kept though screenwriters Chris Bremner and Peter Craig also pitched in. Carnahan was replaced by Belgian directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. While still giving fans of the franchise the requisite explosions and chases, the new directors backed way off from Michael Bay’s over-the-top action sequences he employed in the first two films.
Bay’s Bad Boys II was made in 2003 and his budget was an immense $130 million. By comparison, Bad Boys for Life was made in 2018, and Adil and Bilall brought their film in for $90 million. Also, by comparison, Bad Boys II made only $273 million at the box office while Bad Boys for Life raked in an impressive $426.5 million.
Surprisingly (or possibly not), Bad Boys for Life was not a bad movie. Critics and audiences found the movie exciting and entertaining, so much so, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence have already signed on for a fourth film in the series, one that is being fast-tracked to get in front of cameras as soon as possible. It is not known if Adil and Bilal will be asked back to direct the film.
Will Smith looks to continue his big and small screen success with a number of upcoming projects. First up is King Richard where Smith takes on the role of Richard Williams, father to tennis superstars Venus and Serena.
Following King Richard, Will Smith will then be seen in Emancipation where he plays a runaway slave making his escape through the swamps of Louisiana. Also, up for Smith is The Council, then Bad Boys 4, and the recently announced sequel Bright 2.
For now, you can catch Will Smith in the third film of the popular Bad Boys franchise, Bad Boys for Life, climbing the charts on Hulu.