Bad Boys For Life had everything going against it – it was being released during the Oscar Season, didn’t have Michael Bay as director and was Martin Lawrence’s first major flick since Wild Hogs (2007). However, the positives outweighed the negatives big time, including the lethal combination of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, the name Bad Boys and above all, a timely upgrade to a franchise that shouldn’t have gone missing in the first place. It may not be the best of the three Bad Boys flick but it certainly is the most mature one as it deals with one of the characters’ retirement, another’s escape from death and a villain from the past who knew no boundaries.
Bad Boys for Life begins with Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) becoming a grandfather, and contemplating retirement; there is no such thing on the mind of Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) who loves his bachelor lifestyle, and carefree attitude towards life. One incident changes the equation and the two find themselves helping out a new crop of “experts” known as AMMO (Advanced Miami Metro Operations) where their teammates are younger, smarter and fitter. Burnett wants to retire and settle down with his family while Lowrey wants to take down the people who are terrorizing law enforcement agents for some reason. Why shadows from the past want Lowrey to suffer and with him his entire team is something for the Bad Boys to find out, even if it means taking a trip to another country, where criminals have a stronghold over cops.
Bad Boys For Life doesn’t offer the audience something new but takes over from the second part that came out in 2003. The characters also grow old but not wiser in case of both Marcus and Mike who continue their good work without thinking much about collateral damage, until one day when one of them nearly becomes one. How Martin Lawrence’s character becomes anti-violent and how Will Smith’s character tries to persuade him back into the Bad Boys domain is a treat to watch. Yes, there are some twists in the story that come as shocking, taking the story in an altogether new direction but that direction remains in the Bad Boys universe. The stakes this time are higher but the tougher the scenario, the better the chemistry between the male leads. Their banter, their discussions over the future and their moments together during action sequences are what makes Bad Boys For Life worth your while. The villains are dangerous but the tension is diffused through the iconic slow-motion shots, epic high-speed car chases and lots of explosions, be it day or night, paying tribute to series director Michael Bay.
Bad Boys For Life makes its presence felt after 17 years during which Marvel Cinematic Universe has become a huge deal, Fast & Furious is everyone’s favorite franchise and many flicks from their era are either getting rebooted or shifting to TV. With Bad Boys, the actors keep it natural and so do the directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. They follow the blueprint of the previous movies but insert their own style in the process. For once, they paint one of the Bad Boys as dark, the other as light which wasn’t the case in the previous installments, where they both were at their humorous best. Dark or light, Bad Boys For Life is an ideal sequel that should have released sooner than later. Even after nearly two decades, it is nothing short of a blast that you will enjoy!