17 years to make a sequel isn’t unheard of but it’s still rare since Scott Campbell of We Got This Covered is right, that’s more than enough time to enter into reboot or remake territory, especially given how a lot of actors age in that period of time. Just looking at the trailer one can see how Will Smith and Martin Lawrence have aged over the years and it’s nothing like Bad Boys II, which a lot of people still hold up as one of the best movies since it was just so out of control that calling it anything but a fun time would be seen as a sin. But nearly two decades later the third movie is coming out after having spent such a long time in development hell without any clear direction or invitation to come forward and be noticed. Of course now the guys are older, they’re dealing with the idea that this might be their final time out, and of course, there are younger cops that are going to be introduced that will help them to feel their age and introduce the young buck dynamic that points out how the older generation is out of touch and how the younger generation is the new and hip face of the police and knows things that their older counterparts can’t possibly understand. It’s pretty typical really. As is the main point of the story, that a relative of someone the guys already busted, is coming to get revenge on them in order to make things even.
People have been waiting with a great amount of anticipation for this movie and it’s hard to throw that much shade at it since the second one was a lot of fun and had a lot of great moments. But 17 years later does feel like a long time to wait and it does feel as though it’s allowed a lot of things to happen that won’t be fully explained in the movie no matter how in-depth it gets. This is Michael Bay’s chance to showcase a lot of cool explosions, smoking hot women, and action scenes that border on the ridiculous before going full-bore over the line. And the explanation that Will Smith gives for waiting for so long? He wanted to finish up other sequels before making the jump back to Bad Boys. Really? Which ones? Men in Black obviously didn’t sit well with him since he went back twice to try and rectify things, but apart from that it’s hard to see what else he was doing as far as ‘finishing up’ that might have kept him away for that long. The movie had enough problems plaguing it without Smith staying away for so long obviously, but the explanation he gives is kind of a shaky one since people might have accepted it pretty readily had Bad Boys been given a third movie earlier on. Joshua Rivera of The Verge has a little more to say in his own words.
As of right now the movie has the feel of something that’s allowing two old-timers, or soon to be old-timers, to finish up something that people have been itching for throughout the years so that they can say they finished the trilogy and rode off into the sunset after all was said and done. We’ve seen that before as well haven’t we? Lethal Weapon anyone? Yes the stories are very different but the buddy cop feel is still there and it’s still enough to state that it’s an idea that has been done, done, and done again no matter if it’s a black cop and a white cop or a white cop and a white cop or a black cop and a black cop, or even a white cop and an Asian cop and so on and so forth. The buddy cop movies have been DONE, over and over and with a great number of skilled and experienced actors but always with familiar elements that can almost be timed to the second in some movies. With Michael Bay one can almost smell the explosions coming a few minutes before they do since predictability has become the thing in Hollywood given that it’s safe and doesn’t challenge the viewer any more than they want to be. Glen Kenny of The New York Times has a few things to say about the movie as well.
It’s possible that Bad Boys 3 will do well domestically and it’s even possible that enough people will like it that they’ll be satisfied with the ending, but at this point it might be better if it’s the last and if the idea is allowed to fade off into the distance after it’s all said and done. There’s no guarantee really since in this day and age things tend to go on and on and on despite needing to end eventually, but it’s a hope. If Will Smith really wanted to tend something on a good note there have got to be other movies he could have picked.