Bad Boys 2: 15 Years Later
15 years ago, Michael Bay's sequel to Bad Boys released during the summer of July 2003 and it still holds up as one of the best action films ever.
Will Smith and Martin Lawrence returned as Detective Mike Lowry and Marcus Burnett, respectively, and this time around Marcus' sister Syd (Gabrielle Union) is an undercover DEA agent deep looking to bring down Miami's most prominent ecstasy dealer Johnny Tapia (Jordi Mollà). Things get in the way as Mike & Marcus are blindly working on the same case, coupled with the fact this might be Marcus' last time working with Mike.
Bad Boys 2 was ahead of its time as far as action sequences, starting with the film's introduction, Mike, Marcus and the TNT (tactical narcotics team) have a crazy shootout with a bunch of klan members, but what was supposed to be the most significant shipment of ecstasy to come out of Amsterdam turned out to be one small bag.
The second action sequence is while Syd is undercover, and the drop is hijacked by a couple of Haitians which turns the city of Miami turns into a complete war zone. After Syd makes it out of the shooting with the cash, one of the highlights of the movie is the highway chase where Mike is driving his Ferrari with Marcus riding shotgun. This highway chase is a top-5 scene in action movies, Michael Bay directed this scene in real time with little CGI, but things get crazier as the Haitians the cops are chasing steal a truck and are throwing cars off said truck to slow the police down. The highway scene really set the bar for action movies and the scene itself runs for about 4 minutes, and till this day we haven't seen a high-speed chase that tops this one.
After the pursuit is over and the damage on the highway was done, the total number of cars destroyed was 22, and a boat just so happened to explode. Another shootout takes place at a house where the Haitians were hiding out, and this is where Michael Bay uses his 360-shot cinematography. While Marcus is hiding in the bathroom trying to dodge bullets, Mike is standing on the opposite side of the wall with both guns pointing at each door, and the only CGI added to this scene is where the bullets are shot at the door, but it's only for a second. Michael Bay wanted to shoot this movie in real time, but it's also a highlight scene because the arguing Marcus and Mike are doing while they have bullets flying over their heads is hilarious, and the camera work executed by Bay.
By the time we get to the third act of Bad Boys 2, the film displays the kind of blockbusters Michael Bay is capable of delivering. Syd gets held hostage by Johnny Tapia which forces Marcus & Mike to travel to Cuba. The Cuban military is involved, and an all-out war ensues at Tapia's mansion. Just when you think it couldn't get any more out of hand, it does, but that's what makes it one of the best action movies of all-time and the replay value is still high 15 years later. This is the type of action Hollywood needs, over the top with no rules but only a few can pull it off.
Bad Boys 3 is reportedly scheduled to start filming next month, but Michael Bay is not directing this time around. Jerry Bruckheimer is returning as the producer, and the budget is going to be twice as much as its predecessor (Bad Boys 2 budget was estimated at $130 million). It appears Sony Pictures is going for the grounded feel the first film had while adding more action to the 3rd film as to keep the action junkies and fans of the franchise happy. I don't know how or if Bad Boys 3 is going to top the action from 1 & especially 2, but either way, I'm very much anticipating watching it when it releases. You can buy Bad Boys 1 & 2, fully remastered in 4K, in stores right now; you won't be disappointed.