Being impressed with Michael Bay these days is something that must be a director or a fan thing since a lot of his movies have been the same for quite some time. Explosions, sex appeal, lots of action, and of course, more explosions and destruction. While Bay didn’t manage to direct Bad Boys for Life there was a scene in the movie that he had the chance to direct thanks to the directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, who according to Ryan Scott of MovieWeb were somehow in awe of how he turned when the camera came on him without any direction, simply acting in the moment. Maybe it’s something that’s better understood by those in the business or those that have an affinity for filmmaking, but he TURNED, and the directors went gaga over his technique. So yes, we can thank Michael Bay for kicking off the Bad Boys movies, and despite the unfortunate scheduling conflict that kept him from the third movie it does appear to have been doing well thus far, proving that a movie doesn’t have to be intellectually stimulating in any way, shape, or form to make money, it just has to have lots of gorgeous people and lots of action to keep people from thinking too hard. Yes that sounds entirely cynical for a couple of reasons. One is that after 17 years one would think that the movie would come up with a better story, and two is that there’s another movie already on the way, which is making it feel like another Lethal Weapon run which is bound to overkill at some point.
This is the problem with taking action movies this far. People will likely argue and state that I don’t know what I’m talking about since the box office numbers never lie as some would say. Yes, yes they do. What it means is enough people are interested by seeing the trailer, or are interested because after 17 years they want to see if Smith and Lawrence still have it and can still deliver in the same way. From the trailer it’s kind of obvious that they’re delivering in the same way and that’s the problem. There’s no issue with Michael Bay actually being in the movie, there is a problem with thinking that this is a good idea and that another one coming sooner rather than later will be yet another good idea. Box office, box office, box office. Yes, people will go to see the movies since they’re comfortable, they’re safe, they don’t make people think or focus on a new story line that might actually give them something new that a lot of people actually yell for but can’t handle when it finally comes out. Bad Boys II wasn’t a perfect ending but it was an ending that a lot of people could get behind and was also something that felt satisfying since it WAS an ending to something that had apparently run its course and didn’t need to have anything more said about it. Right? Wrong obviously.
Arguing with the box office numbers is, as people would say, kind of pointless since it indicates that enough people are interested in the movie that it’s already making money and is bound to keep making money which is all that’s needed to make another sequel, you know, the ”last’, last ride’ that the guys will take together despite the fact that Marcus has been trying to get out for a while with every part of his body still intact. Right now it feels as though the idea is being milked for every last drop that the studio can get out of it and people are more than eager to help even if it means keeping around an idea that had its time and needs to be moved on from finally. I can already hear the people that would love to denounce such an idea by stating that there’s still enough action in the movie, there’s still enough play, and there’s certainly still enough comedy. Sure, when you can the jokes and bring them out every now and then they’re still going to be there and for some people they’re still going to work. But overall it’s still canned, it’s still contrived, and it’s not doing much of anything new apart from bringing new effects and moves that are being updated with every action movie these days since people always want to see more. Todd Jorgenson of D Magazine has more to say to this line of thinking. It’s bringing back old actors for a last hurrah that turns into a series of hurrahs that’s starting to get a little old since every action star appears to be trying to hang on as long as they can. For some it works, for others it’s simply getting tired at this point. So let Bad Boys for Life be a success, but the next one really needs to be tabled if only because it’s running the risk of starting to drag the whole works down with it.