The Trilogy We Didn’t Know We Wanted
This week on the podcast, Brian and Darryl talk about rumors of The Joker being added to the Matt Reeves’ planned The Batman Trilogy. Then they talk about yet another early VOD release thanks to Corona-cation, ‘Bad Boys 4 Life’.
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Bad Boys 4 Life (2020)
The wife and son of a Mexican drug lord embark on a vengeful quest to kill all those involved in his trial and imprisonment — including Miami Detective Mike Lowrey. When Mike gets wounded, he teams up with partner Marcus Burnett and AMMO — a special tactical squad — to bring the culprits to justice. But the old-school, wisecracking cops must soon learn to get along with their new elite counterparts if they are to take down the vicious cartel that threatens their lives.
Will Smith as Detective Lieutenant Michael Eugene “Mike” Lowrey
Martin Lawrence as Detective Lieutenant Marcus Miles Burnett
Paola Núñez as Rita Secada, head of AMMO, Mike’s ex-girlfriend
Vanessa Hudgens as Kelly
Alexander Ludwig as Dorn
Charles Melton as Rafe
Jacob Scipio as Armando Aretas
Kate del Castillo as Isabel “La Bruja” Aretas
Nicky Jam as Lorenzo “Zway-Lo” Rodríguez
Joe Pantoliano as Captain Conrad Howard
Theresa Randle as Theresa Burnett, Marcus’ wife.
Massi Furlan as Lee Taglin
Dennis Greene as Reggie
Bianca Bethune as Megan Burnett, Marcus’ daughter
Michael Bay as Wedding MC
DJ Khaled as Manny the Butcher
Adil & Bilall
Based on Characters by
Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer Films
Sony Pictures Releasing
January 17, 2020
Michael Bay, the director of the first two Bad Boys films, stated in June 2008 that he might direct Bad Boys 3, but that the greatest obstacle would be cost considering both Will Smith and himself demanded some of the highest salaries in the film industry. By August 2009, Columbia Pictures had hired Peter Craig to write a script for the sequel. In February 2011, Martin Lawrence stated that the film was in development.
Following several delays, Jerry Bruckheimer announced in June 2014 that screenwriter David Guggenheim was working on the storyline for the sequel. Two months later, Lawrence said a script had been written and roles had been cast. The following year in June 2015, it was reported that director Joe Carnahan was in early talks to write and possibly direct the film. Sony Pictures Entertainment announced a short time later in August 2015 that there were plans for two sequels, with Bad Boys 3 scheduled for release on February 17, 2017, followed by Bad Boys 4 on July 3, 2019. In early 2016, Bad Boys 3 was pushed to June 2, 2017, with no update on the release date of Bad Boys 4. Producers had planned to begin production in early 2017. Another delay surfaced in August 2016, when, to avoid competition with the upcoming DC Comics film Wonder Woman, the studio pushed the film’s release to January 12, 2018. It was also revealed that the film would be titled Bad Boys for Life. In an October 2016 interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Lawrence said filming might begin in March 2017. In December 2016, an updated release date for Bad Boys 4 was set for May 24, 2019.
Sony announced in February 2017 that the film’s release would be delayed for a third time to November 9, 2018. The following month, Carnahan left the movie due to scheduling conflicts. In August 2017, Sony removed the third film from their release schedule, and later in the month, Lawrence said the film would not happen.
Planning resumed in February 2018 as Belgian directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah were signed in place of Carnahan, and Smith and Lawrence were confirmed to reprise. Geek Worldwide reported that the third installment in the Bad Boys franchise would film from November 2018 to March 2019 in Miami and Atlanta, with the release date scheduled for January 17, 2020.
In October 2018, Variety revealed that Sony was close to green-lighting the film’s production. It was reported in December 2018 that Joe Pantoliano would reprise his role as Captain Howard from the previous films. Kate del Castillo joined the cast in early 2019, and it reported soon after Theresa Randle would reprise her role as Marcus’s wife, Theresa.
Principal photography began on January 14, 2019, in downtown Atlanta. Shooting also took place in Mexico City in April 2019, as well as in Miami, wrapping on June 7, 2019.
Cinematographer Robrecht Heyvaert shot the film with Sony CineAlta VENICE digital cameras and Panavision Primo, G- and T-Series anamorphic lenses.
The film was composed by Lorne Balfe, whose new music was integrated with Mark Mancina’s themes from the first film. Both trailers for the film include a remix/mashup of “Bad Boys” by Inner Circle (the franchise’s theme) and “Bad Boy for Life” by P. Diddy, Black Rob and Mark Curry.
The official soundtrack album to the film, Bad Boys for Life: The Soundtrack was announced by its executive producer, DJ Khaled, and released on the same day as the film. Artists Black Eyed Peas and J Balvin recorded a song titled “Ritmo”, released October 11, 2019, which served as a lead single for the film’s soundtrack.
The soundtrack also features tracks by Meek Mill, Santana, City Girls, Quavo, Rick Ross, Rich the Kid, Bryson Tiller, Nicky Jam, Daddy Yankee, Jaden Smith, Farruko, Pitbull, Lil Jon, Buju Banton, and DJ Durel.
Marketing and Release
The first official trailer for Bad Boys for Life debuted on September 4, 2019, and its second trailer was released on November 5. Its world premiere was held at the TCL Chinese Theatre on January 14, 2020. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence arrived at the premiere driving a Porsche 911 Carrera 4S with the Bad Boys theme playing loudly from the car’s audio system. Bad Boys for Life was theatrically released in the United States on January 17, 2020, by Sony Pictures Releasing.
Bad Boys for Life was released on digital on March 31, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic had resulted in the closure of most theatres in mid-March. The film was released on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD on April 21, 2020.
As of March 21, 2020, Bad Boys for Life has grossed $204.4 million in the United States and Canada, and $214.7 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $419.1 million, against a production budget of $90 million. It is both the highest-grossing film in the Bad Boys franchise and the highest-grossing film released in January.
In the United States and Canada, the film opened opposite Dolittle and was initially projected to gross $35–45 million from 3,740 theaters during its three-day opening weekend, for a total of around $48 million over the full four-day MLK weekend. After making $23.5 million on its first day (including $6.36 million from Thursday night previews), estimates were raised to $68 million for four days. The film went on to debut to $62.2 million in its first three days, and $73.4 million over four, the second-best opening for the holiday. It made $34 million in its second weekend and $17.7 million in its third, remaining in first place both times.
IndieWire described reviews for Bad Boys for Life as “mostly positive.” The review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 77% based on 249 reviews and an average rating of 6.22/10. The website’s critics consensus reads, “Loaded up with action and a double helping of leading-man charisma, Bad Boys for Life reinvigorates this long-dormant franchise by playing squarely to its strengths.” On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 59 out of 100, based on 46 critics, indicating “mixed or average reviews.” Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of “A” on an A+ to F scale, equivalent to the first two films. PostTrak reported an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, with 73% of their respondents saying they would definitely recommend it.
Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter wrote that “the third time really is the charm,” and added, “The two directors roll with ease between raucous comedy and raw drama, to considerable effect, just as they crank up the tension on any number of occasions, occasionally with palpably visceral impact.” David Ehrlich of IndieWire gave the film a “B” grade, calling it a “fun, explosive, and even thoughtful action movie,” and wrote, “Bad Boys for Life doesn’t aim to raise the bar on its genre or rewrite the blockbuster rulebook, but it’s a blast watching Lawrence and Smith revisit these characters and find a sensible place for them in the current Hollywood landscape.”
Following the opening weekend box office success of the film, Sony announced plans for a fourth installment, with Chris Bremner returning to write the script.
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The Infamous Podcast is hosted by Brian Tudor and recorded in Cincinnati, Ohio. The show is produced and edited by Brian Tudor.