Seventeen years later, and Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are still blowing sh.t up.
After more than 20 years since the debut of 'Bad Boys', we’ve watched Will Smith and Martin Lawrence bicker and argue as they zoomed around the streets of Miami over the years, and 'Bad Boys For Life' is no exception. Following years of working together in the police force, detectives Mike Lowrey (Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Lawrence) reunite once more to take down a Romanian mob boss who seeks revenge on the duo merely weeks prior to their retirement announcement (finally!), however this time with the help of the newly-engaged AMMO team, headed by Lowrey’s maybe love interest Rita (Paola Núñez, in her first English-language feature).
Directed by the Belgian duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, and written by Chris Bremner, Peter Craig and Joe Carnahan, the film was evidently the result of a boys club meeting, with more emphasis on fancy weapons, specialised bullets, huge drone shots and maybe one too many grenades. . . But that’s what we signed up for, right?
It did seem quite 'Fast And Furious'-eque, however, with an increased number of car chases, explosions, and sweeping location shots than ever before. Plot-wise, it lacked, well, everything, as the story followed the well-worn path that all cop-based comedy action films have followed before, but if you’re watching the third rendition of 'Bad Boys', are you really looking for a groundbreaking storyline? Most likely not.
It was oddly satisfying to see Lawrence's tough guy Burnett melt as he met his grandson for the first time, and Smith's Lowrey develop a consideration to want a family to look after as well. And just as we thought that the dynamic duo were going to hang up their hats for good, they’re introduced to the millennial-led, ambitious AMMO team, who, much to Lowrey’s dismay, end up saving the two several times throughout the movie. In the squad, we see Vanessa Hudgens (evidently ticking off the token minority box for the group, and not doing much else), Alexander Ludwig (in John Cena style, he plays the empathetic hacker who’s given up on his days of violence despite his huge size), and Charles Melton (an okay effort to introduce a new breed of Bad Boy). Put the team into the ruins of an old Mexican church and include a handful of helicopters and an absurd amount of ammunition, and you’ve got the final movie in the 'Bad Boys' trilogy.
Smith and Lawrence still have it, if ‘it’ is the ability to make you laugh the entire way through the film, while simultaneously putting bullet holes into everything that moves.
While not the best of the three (you can’t go wrong with the original), it’s consistent and predictable, and now a little more high-tech. And no, they still can’t seem to get the words right for Inner Circle’s ‘Bad Boys’.