1 Best Releases Starring Kiko Ellsworth

The Spool Staff

Oh, hey, look, a new Bad Boys movie is out. That makes sense. The last one was the best-reviewed and most financially successful of the series, and Martin Lawrence and Will Smith aren’t the hit machines they once were, so another bite at the apple is just good business. That said, Bad Boys For Life was kind of a meh movie, right? It wasn’t, like, terrible, but it wasn’t exactly memorable either, you know? They do the whole “boy times sure have changed, huh” schtick that’s required to a sequel released seventeen years after the previous entry. They try to age the Bad Boys up a little, saddle them with a squad of sassy rookies to train, make Marcus (Martin Lawrence, still in the league) a grandfather, and give Mike (Will Smith, right before everything changed) a heretofore unknown to him, grown son. It’s a perfectly cromulent Legacy Sequel that hits all the right beats at the right times to deliver a tidy nostalgia hit to fans of the franchise. But that’s about it. It lacked the scrappy, low budget, “what are we even doing here” energy of 1995’s Bad Boys, the movie that returned Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer to the big time while also establishing then-sitcom performers Martin Lawrence (top-billed, if you can believe it) and Will Smith as viable action heroes. It also introduced the cinema world to a certain enfant terrible named Michael Bay. Bay is the primary reason Bad Boys worked. He understood how to best utilize Lawrence and Smith’s more intimate TV-sized charm via long sequences of improvised character banter, and he knew precisely when to transform the squabbling comedy duo into believably imposing Big Time Action Stars (Will Smith famously didn’t want to do the sequence when he ran down the street with an open shirt, and Bay convinced him, cementing him into the minds of moviegoers as a tough, sexy, badass. Mission obviously accomplished). And he was the one who took a nineteen million dollar budgeted B-movie originally written for Dana Carvey and Jon Lovitz starring The Fresh Prince and Sheneneh and turned it into a fifty million dollar smash. Continue Reading →