Bad Boys for Life


Will Smith and Martin Lawrence star in the best of the three films.

This past decade we were given a number of sequels that took about a decade or two to come up with a release. The best ones would be the last two “Toy Story” sequels, Men in Black III,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” the last “Star Wars” trilogy, “Zombieland: Double Tap,” “Before Midnight,” “Jay & Silent Bob Reboot,” and “Blade Runner 2049.” And the worst would be “Dumb and Dumber To,” “Independence Day: Resurgence,” “Bad Santa 2,” and “Zoolander 2.”

Now we finally have the third “Bad Boys” movie, “Bad Boys for Life,” with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence back in their roles, Mike and Marcus, and Michael Bay, who has absolutely nothing to do with this sequel, except a cameo role. Other than that, he didn’t write, produce, or direct. That would happen to be directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, A.K.A. Adil & Bilall, producers Smith and Jerry Bruckheimer, and writers Joe Carnahan, Chris Bremner, and Peter Craig.

I liked the first movie, although it ended up being forgettable, and I disliked the second film. In fact, I watched it twice and I still couldn’t understand the story or why it’s humor and attitude had to be so crass. But the third outing, “Bad Boys for Life,” is the best of the three films, and it caught me completely by surprise. 

Maybe it was a lack of Bay that worked, I don’t know. All I know is how its story takes risks by showing us elements we never would have guessed from the series, how the main cops Mike and Marcus are both able to survive the next generation without being tedious, and how the violence doesn’t consumes everything in its path.

Mike cheats death, brought upon by a new crime boss (Jacob Scipio) under his mother’s (Kate del Castillo) orders, and intends to solve his own assassination attempt. Marcus is also retired, but reluctantly joins him, provided they get help from a new generation of cops (Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, and Charles Melton) led by Mike’s old lover Rita (Paola Núñez).

As I explained at the beginning of this review, we’ve had a lot of sequels that took about a decade or two to get. Some were fresh and others were bad, and at this rate, it’s very rare we get threequels to be the best of the bunch. That would be “Bad Boys for Life.”

I wasn’t expecting to like it, considering the fact that “Bad Boys II” was a vile bunch of toilet waste with only the sequences of cars being thrown out of trucks being the bright spot. This sequel gives Bay the boot (again its a cameo role), and brings new people who have fresh ideas and give our heroes their payoffs. Smith and Lawrence are both back and better than ever with their verbal gimmicks and strengths and weaknesses. And the intentions from del Castillo and Scipio are well-crafted and dangerous.

Yes, some of the action gets a little time consuming, but what I really admired the most is the fact that it actually had a story, and not an R-rated special effects extravaganza.

A hilarious line in the movie is when Marcus tells Mike “We fly together, we die together” on a plane, and it shocks a guy.

But that’s nothing compared to what else that scene talks about.


Categories: Action, comedy, Crime, Sequel, Thriller

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