"Bad Boys For Life" Movie Review
Believe it or not, it's been 17 years since Bad Boys II released. Fans wondered if part 3 would ever come out or if it would be shelved forever. Well, here we are. Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett are back. I wish I could say they're better than ever but sadly sometimes sequels just can't live up to the original.
Bad Boys for Life finds Marcus becoming a grandfather and Mike still being same old Mike. After Mike's gunned down, Marcus makes a pact with God that if Mike pulls through and lives then he'll give up his violent life and focus on the newest member of his family. Mike of course pulls through (because you can't kill Will Smith off in the first 20 minutes) and Marcus keeps to his pact. But Mike's too stubborn to let things go and starts digging into the investigation to find out who shot him. What he uncovers though may be more than he can bear.
The thing that made the original Bad Boys so memorable was that no matter what Mike and Marcus went through, they always had each other's back and they always seemed so untouchable. Mike even earned the nickname "bulletproof" because of all of his shenanigans. Former director Michael Bay didn't really delve into these characters' humanity or attempt to make any emotional connection with the audience. Parts 1 and 2 were all action, comedy, and fun. New directors Adil El Arbi and Bilal Fallah took the new film in a different direction, infusing sentimentality and vulnerability into the characters. That could have made for a great, compelling story but for some reason, the writers could not pull that off.
The humor in the film felt too forced and came off as awkward rather than funny. Marcus' pact with God was overall perceived to be some kind of mid-life crisis rather than something serious. It was like the three writers pitched a bunch of different ideas and eventually just tried to incorporate all of them instead of sticking with one good one, which threw the film in a bunch of different directions instead of staying on course.
I can say, however, that Will Smith and Martin Lawrence still have great chemistry and picked right up where they left off. They still seem like the best of friends and that was one of the the saving graces of the film. The other saving grace was the investigation part of the story. What the duo uncovers is interesting and shocking in all the right ways. The final saving grace was the grasping of the concept of consequence. The first two were pretty much one action scene after the other with very little repercussion. This film showed the aftermath of Mike's actions and that brought a small yet much appreciated amount of emotion to a couple scenes.
In conclusion, if you're expecting a Bay-fashion Bad Boys then you'll be sorely disappointed but if you look at the film as another buddy-cop dramedy then you'll have a good time. I give the film a 2.5 out of 4.
© 2020 Nathan Jasper