It’s a pretty short list of reggae music that goes on to be the basis for an entire genre of Police Reality series and Jerry Bruckheimer/Michael Bay… ok it’s one. There is one Reggae song that ever did that – Bad Boys by Inner Circle circa 1987. So with a 17-year gap between films does the latest Bad Boys capture the magic of late 90s action films before it and finally reveal the secrets of how the chorus of that song goes?
Before we go any further you should know this isn’t a spoiler-free review of the new Bad Boys for Life film just out in cinemas, this is a spoiler-free review of Bad Boys for Life in the new Event Cinemas 4DX (they are also at Village Cinemas too).
What is 4DX you say? 4DX is a new immersive cinema available at selected Event Cinemas nationwide. 4DX takes some of the action on screen and throws you in it. Literally. A little bigger than a Gold Class cinema but smaller than a normal full-sized one the Cinema is divided into 4 seat sections which are taller seats but with build-in footrests to keep your feet off the floor. Which is good. Because the seats move.
Yep. You get moved around with the action in the film. Car chase? Try being thrown around in the corners. Get punched on screen? You are going to be taken for a ride. But it’s more than the seat just moving (we mean really moving, you need the footrest or you will be thrown out of the seat). The seats will also vibrate with a car engine or give you a sharp kick to accent something happening on screen.
But the action on screen is not limited to your seat with air jets, water jets (you can turn the water off with a button on your armrest), smoke machines, flashers and even a little bit of the cinema temperature coming into play.
So how does that relate back to our feature film? Well, Bad Boys for Life is the latest in the Will Smith/Martin Lawrence Buddy Cop/Michael Bay Era action comedies. The first film in the franchise first came out in 1995 when Will Smith after leaving Philadelphia where he was born and became a Prince. Detectives Capt. Steven Hiller and Big Mama were Miami PD Narcotics Detectives with a tendency to bring mayhem and chaos on every case. This was champagne 90’s action films with every box ticked.
The duo of Agent Jay and Big Mama (sorry Martin Lawrence has been in a LOT of Big Mama’s House movies) reunited in Bad Boys 2 in 2003 which took the action from Miami to… Miami but also Cuba for a little bit. Why aren’t we filling you in any more than this? Because you really don’t need to know. If you have seen any buddy cop movie in the last 20 years you are already prepared. Playboy’esque Partner? Check. Married Partner? Check. Captain who they are a pain in the ass to with heartburn? Check.
The latest film acknowledges the gap between the last go around with the pair being firmly in their Lethal Weapon 3 getting too old for this s#$t phase. With Bagger Vance wanting to drive off Thelma and Louise style with his partner wanting to retire. The biggest difference is really that this is the first film of the series that Michael Bay didn’t direct (but he does make a cameo).
This is the perfect movie for the new 4DX which we had previously tried with Star Wars: Episode IX. While Bad Boys is not available in 3D unlike Star Wars all the remainder of the action is still accented nicely with the 4DX. Starting out a bit rough with a lot of action early in the piece you feel the engine hum as your chair swerves left and right around the corners in the first action set pieces. While it feels like a lot of effects happening really early on in the film (probably because there is also a lot of action happening then) it is as the film moves forward and the effects become more subtle and you become more use to it that it really starts to show off a vision of the future.
Aside from driving through puddles for a splash of water it’s the unexpected or more spaced out effects that are spaced out enough that you forget you are in a 4DX cinema that really works. A camera flash accompaniment to a flashbang during a firefight or a sharp throw as the protagonist takes a solid punch to make you feel like you are part of the action. Much like other Michael Bay era type films. The only protips we can give you for watching otherwise are:
- Use the footrests or you might hurt yourself
- When you book a ticket you might want to avoid the front row (as that’s where the smoke machine is unless you want to be fully immersed)
- If you want to take a drink take one with a cap like a bottle of water
- If you need to go to the bathroom make sure you time it right to hop in and out of your seat because it moves whether you are in it or not
- And the seats move in groups of 4 so the ones on the far sides move the most if you are planning your seat.
But back to the movie!
So should you go see it? This is some A-grade Will Smith Popcorn Action-Comedy flick. If you are looking for some dumb action fun or a fan of this series or any buddy cop type movie this is your jam. Like we said – don’t worry if you haven’t seen any other part of this series before you will catch up pretty quick.
But should you go see it in 4DX? We are still fairly early on with this technology and there are only a limited number of films that have gone down this path. The cost of a ticket does rival that of a Gold Class fancy cinema but you shouldn’t really treat this like a movie viewing experience as it’s more like a theme park ride. This is the sort of movie this technology was dreamed up for.
Bad Boys for Life is out now in Cinemas across Australia