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Bad Boys 2 - Making cinema that doesn't give you a moment to look away

Feature by: Jack Foley

ACTOR, Will Smith, claims producer, Jerry Bruckheimer, likes to make movies ‘that don’t give you a moment to look away’.

In the case of Bad Boys 2, this was a mixed blessing, according to US critics, who positively slammed the excessive nature of the two and a half hour sequel when it opened in America over the Summer blockbuster period.

Whereas Bruckheimer had unearthed Box Office gold with Pirates of the Caribbean, American critics accused him of exposing something far worse with Bad Boys 2.

Although Smith insists the producer’s desire for ‘keeping it hot’, actually works to the film’s advantage,

"You know, he wants to make a movie that from the first second you walk in the theatre, it, it's exciting, it's funny, it's exhilarating, it's a combination of so many different emotions," he has stated in interviews.

Bad Boys 2 reunites Smith with co-star, Martin Lawrence, as well as director, Michael Bay, and was a huge hit with cinema audiences, prompting talk of a third film in the series.

Yet while the critics might be groaning with disbelief at the prospect, it seems the principle players in the franchise would relish the opportunity to work with each other again.

According to Bruckheimer, himself, part of the allure of the two movies, lies in the chemistry between Smith and Lawrence, both of whom strike the right creative sparks off each other, and are a joy to work with.

Commenting on their relationship, Bruckheimer notes: "Will would come up with wonderful ideas for Martin's character and vice-versa. There was never a selfish moment between the two of them.

"And it's really a pleasure for a director, or a producer, to sit in a room with such gifted performers and watch them just come up with wonderful bits, and wonderful dialogue, and embellish their characters, or other characters, and make the movie so much better than what we had on the page.

"And we had a pretty good script going into it. I mean, we were always trying to make it better, and they certainly added a whole other level of humour during the filming of it, and during the rehearsal period."

Smith, of course, is well-known for his generous spirit, and strong sense of humour on set, and he is equally gushing when asked to comment on his relationship with Lawrence - and vice-versa.

Smith describes his co-star as ‘hilarious’, stating that he is one of the few people that he has worked with ‘that you can just turn a camera on and say, 'Go' and get somethin' funny and, uh, you know, in character’.

"He’s just amazing in that way, and it just makes me feel like I have to do just no work in the scenes.

"You know, all I have to do is, clean up the slop."

Yet while the on-set bond between the two remains as strong as ever, the difference in the movie is that the partnership between Smith’s Mike Lowrey and Lawrence’s Marcus, is beginning to tire of each other, despite being thrust into the middle of a destructive drug war.

Explains Bruckheimer: "Martin is at a place where his kids are growing up - they're getting older - and he's getting older. He wants to have a little more time at home. And when you're in this really specialised unit, you're on call 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

"He wants to see his grandkids, you know, he wants to make sure he's around. And Will is still very single and still having a good time, and hasn't made any commitments. He is still, you know, always pushing the limits when he's on a case and has the testosterone still pretty flowing, and still breaks down doors and, you know, asks questions later.

"Martin is just kind of saying, 'Wait a second,' you know, 'I wanna live a little longer so, we gotta calm down a little bit', and Will's not willing to compromise. So, it kind of strains the relationship a little bit."

Adds Lawrence: "He still has love for his partner, you know, and knows deep down inside he's a good, good guy and all that, but it's strained to the fact that they constantly are getting into reckless situations."

And it is the so-called recklessness of such situations that help to make Bad Boys 2 the ‘beast’ of an action movie that it so undoubtedly is, with a freeway chase, in the first half an hour alone, setting the standard for much of what follows - ie, destructive mayhem.

For while the relationship between the characters is important to all concerned, Bad Boys 2 is an action film, first and foremost, and, as such, delivers in spades.

For as Smith concludes: "As much stuff as you can blow up, and jump over, and kick and shoot (chuckles), we're doing it in this film.

"And on top of it, it manages to be as funny as any comedy that you would go to see. So, I mean, it's's a really rare combination."

Needless to say, the bad boys of the title will be coming for you in cinemas from Thursday, October 2.


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