‘Bad Boys for Life’ is an explosive, thrilling slice of nostalgia that evokes memories of ‘Lethal Weapon.’ The past is fresh once again! Perhaps, but what this latest chapter of the franchise did was build upon what worked in the first film and tweak, so it was relatable for audiences 17 years later. Many of these sequels or reboots that Hollywood is churning out these days could learn a thing or two from the team that brought us this project.
The film picks up with Marcus (Martin Lawrence) and Mike (Will Smith) racing to the hospital so they can witness the birth of Burnett’s first grandchild. Lowrey wants little to do with this moment, but Marcus has a moment in the hospital, leading him to realize he wants to slow down. We cut to a few months later, and during Marcus’s retirement party, it begins to dawn on Mike that he’s going to be alone now. This doesn’t sit well with him, so Mike tries to get Marcus to reconsider by challenging him to race outside the party. If he wins, Marcus stays, and if he loses, then his partner is off into the sunset. Amid this wager, Mike is gunned down outside the night club by an assailant on a motorcycle. This, of course, leads Detective Lowrey down a part of revenge, and loyalties are certainly tested.
As far as the storyline is concerned, ‘Bad Boys For Life’ stuck to what made this franchise resonate with fans. There’s certainly plenty of moments in the film where Smith and Lawrence get to use their comedic talents. What may have put this one over the top in my eyes was how writers Chris Bremmer, Peter Craig, Joe Carnahan managed to weave those with the rest of the new cast members and few returning ones. Joe Pantoliano steps back in as the captain and knocks it out of the park once again. The only part of ‘Bad Boys For Life’ which didn’t resonate with me was those moments where Marcus is attempting to be retired at home. That’s where the film dragged for me but not so much to where it became irritating.
Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are at the top of their game in ‘Bad Boys For Life.’ The chemistry these two have on screen is just infectious a seemingly impacted almost every scene. The action sequences were crisp, explosive, and just a ton of fun. The cinematography captured the beauty of these sequences behind some of the most breathtaking views Miami has to offer.
‘Bad Boys For Life’ is far from a perfect film, but it is the most entertaining choice this weekend at your local theater. If explosions, fast cars, and hilarious moments are what you’re seeking, then look no further.