A couple of policemen—Will Smith and Martin Lawrence—are engaged in a tense battle with gun-toting mercenaries who are out to kill them. The evil leader of the gang bangs his head in the tussle, and he grows a swelling. Martin walks close to him, seemingly entranced by the size of the swelling on the guy’s head. Will implores for him to stop, but almost like in a spell, Martin can’t resist pressing the soft swelling, fascinated and disgusted in equal parts by it. This scene perhaps is the best representation of the spirit of the Bad Boys franchise, whose latest sequel, Bad Boys for Life has come out to largely positive reviews.
In this film, there is the adored police duo—Mike and Mark, there are trigger-happy villains, there’s a lot of bloodshed, but at all times, there’s an irrepressible quest for humour. Here, we have directors of the film, Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, discussing Bad Boys for Life, including the digs at the lead cast members, the depiction of police violence at a tumultous time, and the success of the film and what it means to them.
I read that Bad Boys for Life is the highest grosser of 2020. What does this statistic mean to you?
Adil: Well, I am told that it is the most successful movie of the year, but I think we must remember that this is with an asterisk—one that says coronavirus year. If not for the pandemic, I think the James Bond film, or something else, may have eclipsed us. Regardless, this is an honour, and we are happy. The film is definitely more successful than we anticipated.
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For the remainder of this column (and there’s a lot more left, I assure you), visit https://www.cinemaexpress.com/stories/interviews/2020/jul/24/bad-boys-for-life-adil-el-arbi-bilall-fallah-interview-will-smith-martin-lawrence-19485.html