Bad Boys for Life breathes new life into the franchise
Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Bad Boys for Life breathes new life into the franchise

The iconic characters of Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) return in Columbia Pictures, Bad Boys for Life from directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. Opening with an exciting car chase sequence that smoothly transitions into Marcus viewing the birth of his first grandchild, Bad Boys for Life finds the duo closer than ever after a twenty-five-year cop partnership. Mike is still a sophisticated bachelor enjoying the thrills of a being while Marcus is ready to retire.

Marcus and Mike have no idea that Isabel Aretas (Kate del Castillo) has escaped from prison. Isabel, who has a mysterious connection to Mike’s past, is looking to get revenge on him. Isabel sends her son Armando Armas (Jacob Scipio) to kill Mike. Although the assassination attempt fails, the event changes the dynamic between Marcus and Mike. Six months later, with Marcus now in retirement, Mike is forced to work with Ammo: a young task force led by another one of Mike’s old flames, Rita (Paola Núñez). Naturally, there’s a plot point that forces Marcus to come out of retirement to assist his best friend take down the Armas family.

In the seventeen years since Bad Boys II, Will Smith’s star power has continued to rise (minus the occasional flop), while Martin’s film were hit or miss. Fans of the series have waited a long time for the threequel, and thankfully Bad Boys for Life is worth the wait. One of the first things fans will notice about Bad Boys for Life is the omission of Michael Bay from the director’s chair. Replacing Bay are Belgian film directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. Watching the film it’s clear that Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah have a respect for Bay’s style. However one of the strengths of Bad Boys for Life is that the director’s never try and fully emulate Bay’s style, which is a good thing. Despite a Meta cameo from Bay as an overzealous wedding guest, Bad Boys for Life is all about bringing the franchise into modern times. Bad Boys for Life In the seventeen years since Bad Boys II, Will Smith’s star power has continued to rise (minus the occasional flop), while Martin’s film were hit or miss. Fans of the series have waited a long time for the threequel, and thankfully Bad Boys for Life is worth the wait. One of the first things fans will notice about Bad Boys for Life is the omission of Michael Bay from the director’s chair. Replacing Bay are Belgian film directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. Watching the film it’s clear that Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah have a respect for Bay’s style. However one of the strengths of Bad Boys for Life is that the director’s never try and fully emulate Bay’s style, which is a good thing. Despite a Meta cameo from Bay as an overzealous wedding guest, Bad Boys for Life is all about bringing the franchise into modern times. In the seventeen years since Bad Boys II, Will Smith’s star power has continued to rise (minus the occasional flop), while Martin’s film were hit or miss. Fans of the series have waited a long time for the threequel, and thankfully Bad Boys for Life is worth the wait. One of the first things fans will notice about Bad Boys for Life is the omission of Michael Bay from the director’s chair. Replacing Bay are Belgian film directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. Watching the film it’s clear that Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah have a respect for Bay’s style. However one of the strengths of Bad Boys for Life is that the director’s never try and fully emulate Bay’s style, which is a good thing. Despite a Meta cameo from Bay as an overzealous wedding guest, Bad Boys for Life is all about bringing the franchise into modern times.In the seventeen years since Bad Boys II, Will Smith’s star power has continued to rise (minus the occasional flop), while Martin’s film were hit or miss. Fans of the series have waited a long time for the threequel, and thankfully Bad Boys for Life is worth the wait. One of the first things fans will notice about Bad Boys for Life is the omission of Michael Bay from the director’s chair. Replacing Bay are Belgian film directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. Watching the film it’s clear that Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah have a respect for Bay’s style. However one of the strengths of Bad Boys for Life is that the director’s never try and fully emulate Bay’s style, which is a good thing. Despite a Meta cameo from Bay as an overzealous wedding guest, Bad Boys for Life is all about bringing the franchise into modern times. Bad Boys for Life In the seventeen years since Bad Boys II, Will Smith’s star power has continued to rise (minus the occasional flop), while Martin’s film were hit or miss. Fans of the series have waited a long time for the threequel, and thankfully Bad Boys for Life is worth the wait. One of the first things fans will notice about Bad Boys for Life is the omission of Michael Bay from the director’s chair. Replacing Bay are Belgian film directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. Watching the film it’s clear that Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah have a respect for Bay’s style. However one of the strengths of Bad Boys for Life is that the director’s never try and fully emulate Bay’s style, which is a good thing. Despite a Meta cameo from Bay as an overzealous wedding guest, Bad Boys for Life is all about bringing the franchise into modern times.

The script introduces the Ammo squad, which includes brawly tech genius Dorn (Alexander Ludwig), sharpshooter Kelly (Vanessa Hudgens), and cocky ladies’ man Rafe (Charles Melton). Clearly, the producers and writers are attempting to make a shared universe of films, which is fine. However, while the Ammo squad is generally enjoyable, the script development of the characters is weak. Outside of a brief arc for Dorn (Alexander Ludwig), nothing is revealed about the Ammo squad.

Thankfully screenwriters Chris Bremner and Peter Craig have better success with the wise decision to utilize the power of women in the film. Kate del Castillo is excellent as the villainess Isabel Aretas, while Paola Núñez shines as Rita. Both of these roles could’ve been played by men and turned into male stereotypes, but I commend the writers for the route they took to show the strength of women. Granted, while it was great to see Paola Núñez in a big-budget movie, I do wish the producers had used Gabrielle Union’s Syd Burnett from Bad Boys II to continue the relationship continuity her character established with Will Smith’s Mike Lowrey.

Nevertheless, the focal point of the Bad Boys franchise is the chemistry of stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. The third collaboration between the actors still comes off a brotherhood and not just a movie check partnership. Each of the actors has moments to shine, and Bad Boys for Life has its best moments when the duo is on screen together.

Bad Boys for Life succeeds where many threequels fail by avoiding pretension and indulgence. There was never a moment in the film where I had the mindset that they only did it for money. Instead of relying on old tricks, Bad Boys for Life presents new and realistic ideas and show us the characters we grew up with are a bit older now. Filled with glorious one-liners, impressive action sequences, and even a tear-jerking moment, Bad Boys for Life comes highly recommended.

Final Grade B+

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