Cast: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig
Directors: Adil & Bilall
Finally a good movie in a month that seemed to be nothing but unending garbage. I had my reservations about Bad Boys For Life because I’m not huge on anything that Michael Bay has his hands on and I don’t have any sort of infatuation with the first two movies, but as I started to watch it, I realized that this is a very different movie than its predecessors. This is a smart, slick, and fun movie that embraces all the stereotypes of action movies and turns them into something special, Bad Boys For Life pays tribute to the moments that worked in the past while adding unique elements to create something fresh.
The film follows the events of the first two movies and focuses on Mike Lowrey (Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Lawrence), two Miami cops who have spent their careers living as recklessly and passionately as possible, but as time catches up to them it makes them reevaluate things. When an assassin starts killing members of Miami’s justice department, it’s up to Mike and Marcus to work together one last time to keep the city safe and protect their fellow officers. When you take into consideration how the first two movies were received, you can see the change in quality in this movie and the decision to take out what wasn’t working and replace it with something new and exciting. Obviously the chemistry between Smith and Lawrence is the best it’s ever been, but introducing new characters and story details to old characters helps the movie feel balanced and makes it feel as though we aren’t just watching the exact same movie over again. This movie knows exactly why everyone is watching it and makes the most of this by showing us what we want to see. We want to see beautiful people blowing things up and making jokes along the way, and that’s exactly what this movie gives us. There aren’t too many action movies that have made me legitimately laugh, but hearing some of the jokes that Mike and Marcus have and the banter between each other are some of the funniest moments I’ve seen in a long time. I don’t know exactly who wrote which jokes since these writers have had some mixed bag careers, but whoever did I hope they’re given similar opportunities in the future. Smith really needed this as some of his last few movies haven’t exactly panned out the way he was hoping for, so I guess going back to his roots and embracing what worked in the past will work now. I’m so thankful Michael Bay wasn’t in charge of potentially ruining this movie, and as is proof with Bumblebee, I think it’s best if he walks away from anything with a budget because he’ll probably just use that money on explosives. Bad Boys For Life isn’t just a strong January movie, but a strong movie period and one that will probably end up being talked about for quite some time after you finish watching it.
Overall, Bad Boys For Life takes every insecurity you have about this franchise and throws it out by making the first truly great movie of the series. It only took 25 years for them to create a formula that works for everyone, but it’s better late than never and I’m glad we finally got something worthwhile. If Sony does plan on making another movie, I hope they stick with what worked here and add resources to enhance those areas, as Bad Boys For Life has created a legitimate opportunity for a great action-comedy franchise similar to the Fast & Furious movies but with higher quality.
Overall Score: 7.5/10