Preview by: Jack Foley
IT'S been almost eight years since Martin Lawrence and Will Smith
helped to turn Bad Boys into one of the most enjoyable cop-buddie
action thrillers in years.
Yet, since then, the duo's careers have taken very different
paths. Smith has enjoyed global success and multi-million dollar
roles in hits such as Independence Day, Men In Black and Enemy
of the State, while Lawrence has floundered in the abysmal likes
of Black Knight, Blue Streak and National Security.
For Lawrence, this could well be the last-chance saloon, while
movie fans could be forgiven for thiking that this might not be
such a good thing. Had the sequel been made earlier, for instance,
it might have been more welcome, but given that many fans thought
Men In Black 2, last summer, came too late after the original,
the same fears have resurfaced for Bad Boys 2.
Yet Lawrence remains confident that the wait will have been worth
it, describing the near-finished project as 'dynamite' and predicting
another big hit for the duo.
And while early scripts hinted at scenarios featuring the bickering
narcotics detectives, Mike Lowrey (Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Lawrence),
globe-hopping in both London and Paris, producer, Jerry Bruckheimer,
and director, Michael Bay, eventually settled on writer, Ron Shelton's
less ambitious screenplay, which keeps the duo in Miami, tracking
down a violent ring of Ecstasy dealers.
The inevitable off-duty distraction comes in the shapely form
of Burnett's visiting sister, played by Gabrielle Union, with
whom Lowrey becomes smitten.
And while comedy fans will, no doubt, take delight in the on-screen
chemistry being revisited, action fans can look forward to a 10-minute
car chase and a spectacular gun battle which takes place in one
The car chase, in particular, grabbed many headlines as it was
being filmed, for the way in which it pissed off many of Miami's
The closure of Miami's MacArthur Freeway prompted numerous complaints
to city officials, so, in return, Bruckheimer and Bay gave something
back to the community, by blowing up a multi-million-dollar mansion,
which had already been slated for destruction.
According to Entertainment Weekly's summer preview, Bruckheimer
is quoted as saying: ''They wanted to demolish it, and we helped
them. 'It was a pretty big explosion. We didn't quite level it,
but we did a nice job.''
As for the official reason why the sequel has taken so long in
coming, according to Bruckheimer, it was due to the problems of
getting everyone back together again at the same time, as everyone
Smith, though, remains equally about the film's prospects and
maintains that it was not made merely as a licence to print money.
He told Entertainment Weekly: ''We were excited about the nostalgia
we could create on the film. We were open to the new nuances."
Of the returning cast members, Joe Pantoliano is back as the
pair's mouthy superior, while viewers can expect plenty of nods
to the humour and situations displayed in the brash original.
Bad Boys 2 is due to open in America on July 18, when we will
bring you a round-up of the US critical reaction, and in UK cinemas
on Friday, October 17.