Bad Boys For Life (Columbia, 1.17.20) is obviously a gaudy and shameless cash grab by a couple of over-the-hillies whose careers have been downswirling for quite some time.
Will BBFL “open” regardless of quality? As the core audience has been known for occasionally stupid and gullible allegiances, yeah…probably.
How do I know for certain that Bad Boys For Life is second- if not third-tier stuff? Because of what the trailer shows, and especially how it’s cut. And also because it was directed by the Belgian-born Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. During his peak years (’93 to ’03) Smith wouldn’t have glanced at these guys. But things change.
When did I know that Smith would wind up screwing the pooch? When he passed on The Matrix to make Wild Wild West — that’s when I knew he would eventually sink into the swamp. Smith’s all-time peak moment came when he starred in Tony Scott‘s Enemy of the State (’98). His second-best was starring in Michael Mann‘s Ali (’01). And I’ll never forget how completely cool and transporting he was in Fred Schepisi‘s Six Degrees of Separation (’93).