15 years ago, Bad Boys II was slated to be a summer blockbuster follow up to the first film, which did $141 million at the box office on a $23 million budget in 1995.
Even at the time of their sequel, black cop buddy films were relatively unprecedented for the generation that grew up with Smith and Lawrence. You may have to go back to the ’70s to find a comparable film prior to the first installment.
However, it should also be noted that Will Smith and Martin Lawrence were part of the hip-hop inspired wave of comic actors and actresses that came into popularity around the success of Def Comedy Jam and In Living Color, as well as others like BET Comic View to a lesser extent. But the initial Bad Boys offering was the first big-budget attempt at marketing a comedy film starring two black male leads.
The music, opening scene and skyline made you feel like you were back in the 80’s, about to watch Axel Foley take down the gang responsible for the “alphabet crimes.” When you see the Porsche and realize that its occupants aren’t Taggart and Rosewood, but Martin Lawrence and Will Smith, and you saw that you were in Miami not LA, you knew you were in for something different, something special.
Up until that point, just any black person not named Eddie Murphy or Bill Cosby would have trouble getting a big budget comedy financed. But thanks to hip-hop music and black cultural prevalence, films like Bad Boys, Friday and Above the Rim came out within a year or two of one another. And both “Above the Rim” and “Friday” were low budget films that far outperformed expectations.
The plot for Bad Boys II picks up eight years after the airport shootout/car chase that ended the first film. Marcus Bennett (Will Smith) and Mike Lowrey are investigating an ecstasy influx and are led to a KKK meeting and drug drop. Calamity ensues due to poor equipment, resulting in the deaths of several Klan members who are later revealed to be small buyers and not an organized crime syndicate.
The resulting confusion causes the duo to question their partnership just as Mike is deciding whether to reveal his secret relationship with Marcus’ sister, Syd (Gabrielle Union) — who is herself an undercover agent for the DEA unbeknownst to her brother.
Release Date: July 18, 2003 Narcotics detectives Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) have been assigned to a high-tech task force investigating the flow of designer ecstasy into Miami. Their inquiries inadvertently lead them to a major conspiracy involving a vicious kingpin (Molla), whose ambitions to take over the city’s drug trade have ignited a bloody turf war.
She’s undercover trying to break a money laundering, ecstasy ring run by Russian gangsters on behalf of a Cuban drug lord named Johnny Tapia.
Bad Boys II doesn’t scrimp on gunfights, car chases or morbid humor. Michael Bay would grow to gain a reputation as someone who allowed actors to play around with dialogue. However, you have to have people who’re actually funny enough to be able to pull it off, and Will Smith and Martin Lawrence were still relevant and plenty funny.
From Don Simpson & Jerry Bruckheimer is the second installment of Michael Bay’s epic “Bad Boys” films starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.
Although there were some things that were groundbreaking about Bad Boys II, it still leaned on old troupes like the “damsel in distress” situation that viewers knew would eventually occur when was kidnapped by Tapia and taken to Cuba. The rest is a bunch of gunslinging, chase scene having, partner bickering and happy ending-having predictability 15 years later. But that didn’t stop folks from seeing it, then going to buy the DVD.
It was formulated to be the perfect contemporary summer blockbuster and earned over $273 million, a profit of over $143 million. However, it got really bad reviews from film critics. But fans still went to see it anyway, largely due to the star power of the two leads. Watching Gabrielle Union on screen didn’t hurt it either.