“Bad Boys For Life” almost slipped right by me. Having just seen the trailer at “The Rise of Skywalker” I figured it might show its face at the end of February. As an avid fan of the first two bits of the franchise (if we’re being honest it’s more of an unhealthy love affair) I was ready to see how Will Smith and Martin Lawrence faired with the aging and without their fearless leader Michael Bay at the helm of this installment. “Bad Boys For Life” didn’t disappoint in the way of gun-play, cars, clubs, beautiful people, explosions and shit getting real. It was a good time even though Bay’s absence was evident.
Dear Joey Pants, We need you. We love you. Wooooosaaaaaah!
We return to our “Bad Boys” getting real with the birth of Marcus’s first grandchild, and with a delightfully fun return cameo from “Reggie”. This set the tone for what was a giant fan letter to the first two films. If nothing else, this film delivered a lot of fan service and by movie three, aging heroes, and a film that’s sole purpose is instant gratification…I am in full support of it.
Ride Together, Die Together
It’s obvious this isn’t a Michael Bay directed film because the first twenty minutes there’s nothing but exposition. We catch up with where our characters have been, where they are and where they are going. Along with a mysterious new villain out for revenge and that revenge is taken on one of our main characters pretty early on. The rest of the movie is all about that business and it’s quite a fun ride.
Don’t worry, Michael Bay’s absence doesn’t mean there isn’t enough violence, half naked women, sexy cars, club scenes and explosions. There’s plenty of that to go around, even explosions and things catching on fire that have no business doing so. It’s still pretty awesome. What’s great about it is a lot of that immature humor, excessive male bravado (still present, just not delivered in the form of intravenous needle), and blanket stereotypes aren’t quite as heavy handed.
“I’mma penetrate this man’s soul wit my heart.”
What does this mean for first time viewers? It’s still fun. The fan fair is there, but you have a story that’s simple and works on it’s own. The action builds and delivers, the gun-play, the fighting all works. The comedy is where it’s at. Along with some new faces and fresh blood. Our new team is a lot of fun and we even get some diversity of women and ethnicity and guess what? No one cared, as it should be.
And can we get a “HELL YEAH” for Martin Lawrence! Some people might forget he got top billing in the first movie. I have always been a fan. As a kid and teenager I LOVED “Martin” and still say, “Daaaaaaaaaaamn Gina”. He was and is a great comic and a solid actor. He’s one of the few people that can play neurotic and make me laugh my ass off rather than cringe. As much as I love Will Smith and as damn good as he looks (we already know he’s an incredible actor) Martin stole the show as Marcus and was really the heart of the story.
“Yeah, and you fucking up the lyrics, which take a long time to learn.”
I was really happy with “Bad Boys For Life”. It was a worthy piece of the franchise and even though a 4th movie has been green-lit, I feel like this is where they could have let it end. That being said, if the next installment is as fun as this one was then keep them coming and I’ll keep showing up. Definitely a good time!
Rating: 3/5 Stars