Bad Boys For Life is in theaters today, so we’re looking at the first two films, today we check out Bad Boys 2.
With the highly anticipated release of Bad Boys For Life this weekend, we decided to look back at the first two films before the latest installment hits. Today we’re looking back at the second film in the series, Bad Boys 2. The second film picks up eight years after the original, with Marcus (Martin Lawrence) and Mike (Will Smith), working as detectives in the Tactical Narcotics Team. After a bust at a KKK meeting ends with disappointing results, the partners work to find the big deal that was rumored to happen at the meeting. Their paths cross with Marcus’ sister Syd (Gabrielle Union), who is working undercover for the DEA to take down a Cuban drug lord, Johnny Tapia (Jordi Mollà).
The sequel expands on every single great element of the original, the action is bigger, the dialogue is funnier, the moments between Smith and Lawrence are fantastic, and the addition of Gabrielle Union’s Syd makes everything more complex. There’s still some tropes along the way, but the film leans more into comedy tropes at times than it does the usual “buddy cop” tropes. The film does everything it can to give you a story that will thrill and at times surprise you.
The biggest change from the original is the sort of Michael Bay-ness of it all. The first act features a car chase with Marcus and Mike dodging bullets and cars being thrown at them off a car carrier trailer. The end of the film features an insane showdown in Cuba with Marcus and Mike, a team of DEA agents, two TNT detectives, and a CIA agent, who shows up just because. There’s plenty of moments like that throughout that remind you that, yeah, this Michael Bay in true form, and he’s gotten even more comfortable eight years after the original film.
Now, the Michael Bay aspect of the film isn’t a bad thing. It fits for this film, just as the smaller Bay moments worked for the first film. His style helps create a perfect action-packed ride that you don’t want to end, and it never feels like the plot or characters are lost amidst the Bayhem. The film ramps up the action from the original, but it also ramps up every single other aspect that made the first one great. The comedy beats are more frequent and funnier than the original, the emotional moments are stronger, there isn’t anything that doesn’t work. Plus it has Michael Shannon, Peter Stormare, and a scene where Marcus sees rats having sex and says “they fuck just like us!”
I honestly love this film for so many reasons, and it’s something that makes me want more with these characters. The first film was great and is a classic, but the second film truly does make this into a fun series. It’s a shame that it took so long for a third film to come out, and who knows if more will be made past that. (And who knows if the third will live up to the second.) But Bad Boys 2 is truly a fun filled ride with a great cast, and some unforgettable moments. What more could you ask for?
Bad Boys 2 is currently streaming on Netflix. Be sure to check out our review of the first Bad Boys here. You can catch Bad Boys For Life in theaters this weekend, get tickets here.