Bad Boys for Life

Bad Boys for Life is a 2020 action comedy film that is the sequel to Bad Boys II (2003) and the third installment in the Bad Boys trilogy. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence reprise their starring roles in the film, which is directed by Adil & Bilall and written by Chris Bremner, Peter Craig and Joe Carnahan. The film's cast also includes Paola Núñez, Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, Charles Melton, Kate del Castillo, Nicky Jam, and Joe Pantoliano. It was produced by Smith, Jerry Bruckheimer, and Doug Belgrad. In Bad Boys for Life, Miami detectives Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett investigate a string of murders tied to Lowrey's troubled past.

Bad Boys for Life
Bad Boys for Life poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAdil & Bilall
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Peter Craig
  • Joe Carnahan
Based onCharacters
by George Gallo
Starring
Music byLorne Balfe
CinematographyRobrecht Heyvaert
Edited by
Production
companies
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing
Release date
  • January 17, 2020 (2020-01-17)
Running time
124 minutes[3]
CountryUnited States[4][5]
LanguageEnglish
Budget$90 million[6]
Box office$426.5 million[6]

A third Bad Boys film was discussed after the success of the second, with Michael Bay stating he would be interested in returning to direct, but budgetary constraints made going ahead difficult. The film went through several attempts to enter production over the course of a decade, with a variety of writers and directors attached. The project was eventually finalized and green-lit in October 2018, and filming began the following year, lasting from January to June 2019. Principal photography took place in Atlanta, Miami, and Mexico City.

Bad Boys for Life was theatrically released in the United States on January 17, 2020, by Sony Pictures Releasing under the Columbia Pictures label. The film received generally positive reviews from critics,[7] becoming the best-reviewed film in the series. It also grossed $426.5 million worldwide, making it the third highest-grossing film of 2020, the highest-grossing installment of the series and the biggest January release of all time.

PlotEdit

Isabel Aretas, widow of cartel kingpin Benito Aretas, escapes from a Mexican prison with the aid of her son Armando. Isabel sends Armando to Miami, tasking him with recovering a substantial stash of money her husband Benito had hidden, as well as assassinating the people responsible for his arrest and eventual death in prison. Isabel demands that Armando kill Miami detective Mike Lowrey last.

In Miami, Mike accompanies his partner Marcus Burnett to the birth of his first grandson. Desiring to spend more time with his family, the aging Marcus tells Mike he intends to retire, to Mike's chagrin. During a party celebrating Marcus' grandson, Mike is shot by Armando and left in a coma for six months. Chastised by Isabel for targeting Mike first, Armando continues to assassinate other targets on his list during Mike's convalescence.

Following Mike's recovery, he is determined to seek revenge and unsuccessfully attempts to recruit the now-retired Marcus, causing a fall out between them. Mike violently obtains the identity of arms dealer Booker Grassie from an informant. Realizing that Mike will not heed orders to stay away from the investigation, Captain Howard reluctantly allows him to work with the tech-driven team in charge, the Advanced Miami Metro Operations (AMMO), led by Mike's ex-girlfriend Rita Seceda. While the team surveils Grassie at an arms deal, Mike determines that the buyers intend to kill Grassie and intervenes, but fails to save him. Later, Marcus is called by Carver Remy, an old informant who believes the assassin is after him. Marcus contacts Mike and the pair travel to Carver, but are too late to save him. Armando escapes after a fistfight with Mike.

Captain Howard later reveals his intentions to retire as well, offering advice to Mike that he needs to find a path forward in life. He is abruptly assassinated by Armando moments later. The captain's death pulls Marcus out of retirement, but he intends to work as a team with AMMO. They track down Grassie's accountant, who leads them to Lorenzo "Zway-Lo" Rodriguez. They infiltrate Zway-Lo's birthday party leading to a destructive car chase. Armando arrives in a helicopter to rescue Zway-Lo, but inadvertenly kills him when he blocks Armando's ability to shoot the pursuing Mike. As he lines up a shot, Armando tells Mike "Hasta el fuego". Gunfire from Marcus creates cover for Mike, who falls into the water below.

AMMO is shut down because of the failed operation. In private, Mike reveals to Marcus that Armando is his son. Before partnering with Marcus, Mike worked as an undercover officer in the Aretas cartel where he met Isabel. They fell in love and intended to run away together, using "Hasta el fuego" as a made-up secret catchphrase. Mike ultimately remained loyal to the police, realizing how dangerous Isabel had become. Despite Mike's opposition, Marcus and AMMO join him in Mexico City to confront her.

At the Hidalgo Palace, Mike meets Isabel and scolds her for concealing the truth from him. A shootout quickly ensues between AMMO and Isabel's men. Marcus shoots the pilot of Isabel's support helicopter, causing it to crash into the central lobby and starting a fire. Marcus confronts Isabel, while Mike tries to explain the truth to Armando. Armando begins to beat up Mike, but he refuses to retaliate. Demanding the truth from his mother, Isabel confirms to Armando that Mike is his father. Realizing the task he spent a lifetime training for was a lie, Armando tries to protect his father, leading to Isabel inadvertently shooting Armando in the chest while aiming for Mike. Enraged, she attempts to finish Mike, but Rita intervenes and shoots Isabel, sending her falling into the flames below. Marcus almost falls into the fire too, but Armando and Mike pull him up.

Sometime later, Rita has been promoted to police Captain, while Mike and Marcus are placed in charge of AMMO. Mike visits a remorseful Armando in prison, offering him a chance to earn some redemption, which he accepts.

CastEdit

ProductionEdit

DevelopmentEdit

Michael Bay, the director of the first two Bad Boys films, stated in June 2008 that he might direct Bad Boys 3, but that the greatest obstacle would be cost considering both Will Smith and himself demanded some of the highest salaries in the film industry.[14] By August 2009, Columbia Pictures had hired Peter Craig to write a script for the sequel.[15] In February 2011, Martin Lawrence stated that the film was in development.[16]

Following several delays, Jerry Bruckheimer announced in June 2014 that screenwriter David Guggenheim was working on the storyline for the sequel.[17] Two months later, Lawrence said a script had been written and roles had been cast.[18] The following year in June 2015, it was reported that director Joe Carnahan was in early talks to write and possibly direct the film.[19] Sony Pictures Entertainment announced a short time later in August 2015 that there were plans for two sequels, with Bad Boys 3 scheduled for release on February 17, 2017, followed by Bad Boys 4 on July 3, 2019.[20] In early 2016, Bad Boys 3 was pushed to June 2, 2017, with no update on the release date of Bad Boys 4.[21] Producers had planned to begin production in early 2017.[22] Another delay surfaced in August 2016, when, to avoid competition with the upcoming DC Comics film Wonder Woman, the studio pushed the film's release to January 12, 2018.[23] It was also revealed that the film would be titled Bad Boys for Life.[23] In an October 2016 interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Lawrence said filming might begin in March 2017.[24] In December 2016, an updated release date for Bad Boys 4 was set for May 24, 2019.[25]

Sony announced in February 2017 that the film's release would be delayed for a third time to November 9, 2018.[26] The following month, Carnahan left the movie due to scheduling conflicts.[27] In August 2017, Sony removed the third film from their release schedule, and later in the month Lawrence said the film would not happen.[28]

Planning resumed in February 2018 as Belgian directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah were signed in place of Carnahan, and Smith and Lawrence were confirmed to reprise.[29] Geek Worldwide reported that the third installment in the Bad Boys franchise would film from November 2018 to March 2019 in Miami and Atlanta, with the release date scheduled for January 17, 2020.[30][31]

CastingEdit

In October 2018, Variety revealed that Sony was close to green-lighting the film's production.[32] It was reported in December 2018 that Joe Pantoliano would reprise his role as Captain Howard from the previous films.[33] Kate del Castillo joined the cast in early 2019,[34] and it reported soon after Theresa Randle would reprise her role as Marcus' wife, Theresa.[35]

FilmingEdit

Principal photography began on January 14, 2019, in downtown Atlanta.[36][37][38] Shooting also took place in Mexico City in April 2019, as well as in Miami, wrapping on June 7, 2019.[39][40] Cinematographer Robrecht Heyvaert shot the film with Sony CineAlta VENICE digital cameras and Panavision Primo, G- and T-Series anamorphic lenses.[41]

MusicEdit

The film was composed by Lorne Balfe,[42] whose new music was integrated with Mark Mancina's themes from the first film. Both trailers for the film include a remix/mashup of "Bad Boys" by Inner Circle (the franchise's theme) and "Bad Boy for Life" by P. Diddy, Black Rob and Mark Curry.

The official soundtrack album to the film, Bad Boys for Life: The Soundtrack was announced by its executive producer, DJ Khaled, and released on the same day as the film. Black Eyed Peas and J Balvin recorded a song titled "Ritmo", released October 11, 2019, which served as a lead single for the film's soundtrack.[43]

The soundtrack also features tracks by many artists, including Nicky Jam, Quavo, Rick Ross, Meek Mill, Buju Banton, Bryson Tiller, City Girls, Pitbull, [44] and DJ Durel.[45]

Marketing and releaseEdit

The first official trailer for Bad Boys for Life debuted on September 4, 2019,[46] and its second trailer was released on November 5.[47] Its world premiere was held at the TCL Chinese Theatre on January 14, 2020.[48] Will Smith and Martin Lawrence arrived at the premiere driving a Porsche 911 Carrera 4S with the Bad Boys theme playing loudly from the car's audio system.[48] Bad Boys for Life was theatrically released in the United States on January 17, 2020, by Sony Pictures Releasing.[49]

Home mediaEdit

Bad Boys for Life was released digitally in the United States and Canada through Premium VOD on March 31, 2020, before the end of the usual 90-day theatrical run.[50] The film was released on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD on April 21, 2020.[51]

ReceptionEdit

Box officeEdit

Bad Boys for Life grossed $204.4 million in the United States and Canada, and $220.2 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $424.6 million, against a production budget of $90 million.[6][5] It is both the highest-grossing film in the Bad Boys franchise and the highest-grossing film released in January.[52]

In the United States and Canada, the film was released alongside Dolittle, and was initially projected to gross $35–45 million from 3,740 theaters during its three-day opening weekend, for a total of around $48 million over the full four-day MLK weekend.[53][54] After making $23.5 million on its first day (including $6.36 million from Thursday night previews), estimates were raised to $68 million for four days. The film went on to debut to $62.2 million in its first three days, and $73.4 million over four, the second-best opening for the holiday.[55] It made $34 million in its second weekend and $17.7 million in its third, remaining in first place both times.[56][57]

The box office performance of this film was affected by movie theaters closures in mid-March because of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. After the easing of initial restrictions, the film was released in three Santikos Theatres locations in San Antonio, Texas on May 1, 2020.[58] After a long delay, the film was released in China on August 14, and made $3.2 million in its first weekend.[59]

Critical responseEdit

IndieWire described reviews for Bad Boys for Life as "mostly positive",[60] while Screen Rant stated the critics were "generally positive".[7] The review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 77% based on 257 reviews, and an average rating of 6.22/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "Loaded up with action and a double helping of leading-man charisma, Bad Boys for Life reinvigorates this long-dormant franchise by playing squarely to its strengths."[61] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 59 out of 100, based on 46 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[62] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale, equivalent to the first two films.[55] PostTrak reported an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, with 73% of their respondents saying they would definitely recommend it.[55]

Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter wrote that "the third time really is the charm," and added, "The two directors roll with ease between raucous comedy and raw drama, to considerable effect, just as they crank up the tension on any number of occasions, occasionally with palpably visceral impact."[1] David Ehrlich of IndieWire gave the film a "B" grade, calling it a "fun, explosive, and even thoughtful action movie," and wrote, "Bad Boys for Life doesn't aim to raise the bar on its genre or rewrite the blockbuster rulebook, but it's a blast watching Lawrence and Smith revisit these characters and find a sensible place for them in the current Hollywood landscape."[63]

SequelEdit

Following the opening weekend box-office success of the film, Sony announced plans for a fourth installment, with Chris Bremner returning to write the script.[64][60]

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit