Most of us know the Inner Circle song and its catchy refrain:
Bad boys, bad boys
Whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do
When they come for you?
Popularized even more by the 1995 original “Bad Boys,” and 2003’s sequel “Bad Boys II,” the song is renewed and easily recognizable for new generations with BAD BOYS FOR LIFE – featuring the return of one of film’s favorite duos Will Smith and Martin Lawrence as detectives Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett.
In this third film, we find the partners facing mid-life and identity crises and their most ruthless nemesis yet – a queenpin, that Lowrey sent to prison during a covert mission in his early career, who’s returned with a vengeance and a well-kept secret that could both prove deadly.
The action in this follow-up is by far the most graphic of the series, but it is nail-biting and dynamic – with a fast paced tempo that is comparable to modern franchise’s like the Fast & Furious and plays well comic-wise with two maturing leading men.
I also enjoyed seeing the return of several characters – including Theresa Randle who portrays Marcus’s wife Theresa and Joe Pantoliano as Captain Howard – but I’ll stop there because there are additional characters/cameos inserted and this is a non-spoiler site!
The chemistry with Smith’s Mike and Lawrence’s Marcus and the new team introduced – Vanessa Hudgens (Kelly), Alexander Ludwig (Dorn), Charles Melton (Rafe), Paola Nunez as team lead Rita – was also impressive and a clever addition to bring the story to a younger audience.
One thing in the movie that I questioned was when Smith recounts Mike’s undercover mission and gives the timeline it occurred – I believe he stated 24 years ago. Now, that doesn’t add up considering we know the original occurs 25 years ago both in real time and fictionally. So did he mean 26? I’m going to see it again to verify, but if you know, and are sure about the timeline, leave me a thought or comment. 😉
Overall, I really enjoyed this story and thought it was not only funny but a great addition the Bad Boys franchise. It’s not hard to understand how the studio has already decided there will be a fourth film – I mean it’s Smith and Lawrence, going to make mad money, and it is really good. Moroccan-born Belgian directors Adil & Bilall (Black, Gangsta, FX’s Snowfall) really upped the ante creating a solid, action-filled and hilarious reboot for this series.
I give BAD BOYS FOR LIFE 3.5 out of 5 beats on the MMTrometer.
Until next thought, Thomasena