Will Smith and Martin Lawrence re-team as "bad boys" in this third - and final? - installment that started way back in 1995.
25 years after "Bad Boys" and 17 years since "Bad Boys II," "Bad Boys For Life" gets us caught back up with Miami Detectives Mike Lowrey (Smith) and Marcus Bennett (Lawrence). This movie is a throwback in more ways than one…they just don’t seem to really make too many big-budget buddy-cop comedies like "Bad Boys" anymore these days, and from the very start of this third chapter, it’ll feel familiar and welcoming to be back on the beat with Mike and Marcus one more time.
But things have changed as these two have reached retirement age. Marcus seems to welcome his twilight years but Mike is not ready to hang things up. But both of them get pulled back into the game when a Mexican cartel Queen, Isabel (Kate del Castillo) and her son, Armando (Jacob Scipio) start killing a bunch of prominent Miamians that seem to be connected to something in Mike’s past.
Lawrence and Smith still have great chemistry…they both can still make you laugh, but now with a few more pounds and years added on, only Will Smith seems believable chasing, punching and shooting at the bad guys (Martin Lawrence...not so much). For the most part, this is an expendable movie but a thoroughly enjoyable ride, and it helps that the audience shares a history with these bad boys…now grown men.
While firing on all cylinders for the first 90 minutes or so, and fumbling over deeper questions about faith, loyalty and love, the last half-hour nearly brings the entire movie crashing to the ground. Some absolutely ludicrous, ridiculous twists start to be introduced, and one character’s abrupt change-of-heart is almost enough to leave you laughing for all the wrong reasons. It's too bad that this "old-school"-style movie felt the need to complicate things so deeply.
Even still, people will enjoy "Bad Boys for Life"…it's the right blend of old nostalgia and new energy, but don't let the marketing fool you...this movie doesn't quite wrap things up or act like this is the "last chapter" of anything. It instead seems to breathe a newfound confidence into a franchise led by two aging stars that clearly have gas left in their tanks. In other words, it's all good when it comes to these bad boys.
Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime.
Run Time: 2 hours 3 minutes.
Starring: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens, Joe Pantoliano, Alexander Ludwig, Happy Anderson, Kate del Castillo.
Directed by Adil el Arbi and Bilall Fallah ("Gangsta," "Black," "Image").
"Bad Boys for Life" is in theaters Friday, January 17th, 2020.
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