Bad Boys For Life – Review

Bad Boys For Life is an incredibly enjoyable return to the Bad Boys franchise, with strong performances by Smith and Lawrence leading the way.

Bad Boys For Life is directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah and stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence as Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett. The film also stars Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, Charles Melton, Paola Núñez, Kate del Castillo, Nicky Jam, and Joe Pantoliano. Bad Boys For Life is a proper sequel to Michael Bay’s Bad Boys and Bad Boys II. The two films have been widely successful and a modern revisit to the franchise was inevitable. In many instances, revisiting an old franchise to see how much juice is left in it, is disastrous results. To put it plainly, it is usually better to create new IPs than retread old ones to ensure higher quality films. The good news is Bad Boys For Life does not fall into that trope.

Ben Rothstein/Sony Pictures

Bad Boys For Life follows the well-knwon team of Will Smith’s Mike Lowrey and Martin Lawrence’s Marcus Burnett reuniting on a case. The film plays on the real passage of time that has occurred between Bad Boys II and Bad Boys For Life. The two men, who have solved dozens of cases and are known as legends to their peers are now on opposite sides of the spectrum as age creeps in. Mike Lowrey is desperately holding on o the persona he had in the first two Bad Boys films. Staying far from any relationships and simply focusing on his work, he is strongly disappointed in his long-time friend’s situation. Marcus Burnett has retired, is now a grandfather and no longer has the same fire he once had. All of this quickly changes when a criminal starts murdering people involved in an old case concerning Mike.

Bad Boys For Life feels very much in the vein of Michael Bay’s first two films. The film carries all the car chases, shoot-outs and hilarious moments to keep the film very close to franchise familiarity. The film is carried on the backs of Smith and Lawrence. The two share chemistry that is rarely seen in Hollywood and steal every scene they share together. The film is built around our two bad boys as they struggle to be what they once were. This leads to an elevated amount of emotional beats that give the film charm and heart.

Bad Boys For Life is a rare example of making a sequel only when the script and story make it needed. The film did not simply feel like the next adventure the Bad Boys go on, rather the next evolution they need to be as relevant as ever to both new audiences and those who grew up with the two. With a Bad Boys IV in development, it is safe to say we will be seeing more of Smith and Lawrence as the titular heroes. Overall, Bad Boys For Life is a hilarious and heartwarming return to the franchise with strong performances by Smith and Lawrence leading the way.

4/5

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