“Bad Boys for Life” is an American buddy comedy written by Chris Bremmer, Peter Craig and Joe Carnahan and directed by Adil and Bilal Fallah. The film stars are Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, reprising their roles of Detectives Mike Lowery and Marcus Burnett. The story follows the two detectives reuniting once again when someone starts murdering people related to an old case.
The film comes 17 years after “Bad Boys 2” was released to very negative reviews, so I didn’t expect much from the third entry in a not so great franchise. The film, however, is by far the best film in the franchise by focusing on the action and supporting Smith’s and Lawrence’s chemistry with clever dialogue.
Smith and Lawrence remain the best part of the franchise, their chemistry remains as likable as ever and Lawrence adds some much needed emotional moments in the film, which added to their relationship.
Joe Pantoliano also returns as Captain Howard and is given more depth beyond the screaming captain this time around.
The rest of the supporting cast is rather forgettable. Like many aging action hero movies, Smith and Lawrence are teamed up with a group of millennial technology-influenced teammates. They don’t have much characterization past butting heads with the old detectives over how to do things. The same thing can be said of its villains who even after a personal connection, are revealed as generic bad guys.
The action is way more focused and coherent than its predecessor, though you won’t be scared for the safety of our protagonists. Everything is well shot and there’s a clear understanding of the geography and what’s going on in the action scenes, and it never gets too absurd unlike previous films in the franchise. The humor is hit or miss. Smith and Lawrence are effortlessly funny but are let down by their supporting cast in the joke departments. Nothing is outright hilarious, but you’re guaranteed a few laughs throughout the film.
All in all, “Bad Boys for Life” is a pretty safe sequel to a long-dormant franchise. The film is definitely not reinventing the wheel, but considering the overall quality of the franchise, it’s a definite improvement.