The Bad Boys movies are well known for their heart-stopping, exotic action set pieces. On the first two movies, director Michael Bay dropped jaws as he dropped cars off the back of a transport truck, or sent Will Smith and Martin Lawrence racing down an airport runway in pursuit of their latest antagonist.
But the two Bad Boys movies are also very funny, sparked by the odd-couple chemistry of the two leads. Will Smith’s debonair rich kid Mike Lowrey leads a particular lifestyle, and it directly contradicts the ramshackle family life of his partner, Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence). Their differences inspire the comedy, and the first trailer for Bad Boys for Life convinced me that the franchise, and these stars, are in good hands by opening with a physical gag that’s a stellar callback to the opening scene of the original Bad Boys.
Here’s the trailer. The joke is in the opening 30 seconds, but take the time to enjoy the whole reel.
The opening 30 seconds of the trailer for Bad Boys for Life establishes everything you need to know about these characters, who were first introduced in Michael Bay’s Bad Boys in 1995. The camera lovingly pans “Trigger” Lowrey’s sports car as Mike (Will Smith) emerges from it. As we come around to Marcus’ side, he opens the car door… right into a fire hydrant.
Marcus doesn’t respect Mike’s things. He’s the Oscar to Mike’s Felix, and while they are “Bad Boys for Life,” Mike is consistently frustrated by Marcus’ insensitive actions, particularly when associated to Mike’s trust fund living.
If you know (and love) the Bad Boys franchise as I do, you know that these two have been lovingly bickering about shit like this from the very first scene of the very first movie… and this trailer opener feels like a direct callback to this scene.
That scene cracks me up, for this reason. Yes, it displays how little care Marcus has for Mike’s special toys. You don’t spill fries in a $105,000 car, even if it doesn’t have proper cup holders.
But stop and think about that scene for a second. Marcus is eating drive-thru burger and fries. Unless he brought that food with him, Mike presumably stopped to get the food. Them he acts surprised that Marcus is EATING in his car. Well, yeah! You stopped and GOT him that food, Mike!
But it’s the tone that matters. Mike has special tastes. Marcus does not. And the fire-hydrant gag feels like a deliberate and calculated callback to fans that says, “Yes, it has been nearly 25 years since these guys played Mike and Marcus, but nothing changes, and we’re back in good hands.”
That’s all I needed to see.
Bad Boys for Life blasts into theaters on January 17, 2020, and while Michael Bay will not be back at the helm, it looks like Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah are carrying his torch. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence still fit perfectly into the roles. Are you excited for this new sequel? Did you spot any additional callbacks? Beyond Joey Pantoliano’s disgruntled Captain Howard?