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Die-hard fans of the first two Bad Boys movies likely were disappointed when they learned that bombastic director Michael Bay was not going to be returning to the franchise to helm the third installment, Bad Boys for Life. Bay was working on the Netflix movie 6 Underground, and maybe wanted to move in a different direction. So it brought me (as a true fan) tremendous joy when I saw that Bay gave his blessings to the project by appearing for a cameo… passing the ceremonial baton to new co-directors Bilall Fallah and Adil El Arbi.
There are a ton of visual cues to Michael Bay’s filmmaking style in Bad Boys for Life. And then, in a delightfully unexpected cameo, Bay himself shows up on screen! He’s credited in the end credits as Wedding DJ, and that’s his brief role. Marcus and Theresa are throwing a reception for their daughter. Mike is there, and it’s a reveal that he has emerged from the hospital, where he was in a coma after being gunned down in the streets.
But Bay steal focus by showing up as the wedding DJ. Because up until this point, we didn’t really know Michael Bay’s opinion on the continuation of the franchise he helped make a global success. By not returning, was he against the idea of them doing more Bad Boys movies? Was it really just scheduling? Everyone else of note was back, so why wouldn’t Bay get on board?
The cameo (with a speaking line) tells me that Michael Bay gives Bad Boys for Life his blessing, that he supports the work of the newcomers – who clearly grew up on Michael Bay films – and was willing to play along with their vision for at least an afternoon of work.
Taking things one step further, from a geeky filmmaking standpoint, I adored the fact that during Bay’s scene, Fallah and El Arbi employ the classic “Spin the Camera in a Circle Around Your Subjects” that Bay uses in so many films. In fact, he memorably used it in the middle of a shootout in Bad Boys II, and even though Bay is only making a wedding toast in his Bad Boys for Life scene, it plays out on screen like this:
Did you catch that Michael Bay cameo in Bad Boys for Life? It goes by pretty quickly, and I’m not sure how recognizable Bay is, as a personality. But it made me very happy to see him, and helped me like this movie even more!
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.