Review: Bad Boys for Life
Too Bad For Too Long.There is nothing particularly special about the latest installment of the "Bad Boys" franchise. Twenty-five years after the original loudly bashed, smashed and crashed onto the big screen and then returned eight years later with the sequel, "Bad Boys for Life" is little more than a rehashed revenge story, devoid of any originality and lacking the relevance of its predecessors. Martin Lawrence looks fat and tired throughout the entire film while Will Smith, no matter how hard he tries, seems to have taken a considerable leap backwards just to keep this loved-up-buddy-cop action/comedy (questionable) alive.
Eccentric action film Director, Michael Bay, is no longer pulling the strings (I can see why), and is replaced by little known directing duo, Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (of "Black" and "Gangsta" fame) in an attempt to freshen up a film series that desperately needs an identity in the Twenty-First Century, but is this blockbuster a task that they are just not prepared for. "Bad Boys For Life" seems to be a project tailor-made for Adil and Bilall but I came away with the impression that the two of them had bitten off more than they could chew.
Mike (Will Smith) and Marcus (Martin Lawrence) are still indulging in their opposites attract police partnership while trying to scourge the Miami streets of criminal filth and scum. But while Mike is still this impressive bulletproof bachelor hellbent on running down the bad guys in his expensive Porsche, Marcus is on the cusp of retirement. The old fella has just become a grandfather and the prospect of putting himself in harms way lacks the appeal it once did. This all changes though when a mysterious rider in black begins to gun down people linked to an undercover case from Mike's past.
Oh, its all great fun really. The action scenes are quite fantastic and pack a punch right up to the climatic ending. And there are some stirring heart-felt moments that give the film an emotional edge that the previous movies failed or didn't need to deliver, but this is where the positive praise finishes. Captain Howard (Joe Pantoliano) is still screaming at the two immature clowns and breaking every rule in the police captains handbook to protect them against their violent antics. Mike and Marcus are still dishing out the moronic (and may I say, homosexually charged innuendo) dialogue that just doesn't cut it in the year 2020. These bad boys are still loud but the banter is stuck at the same juvenile level it was back in the middle 90's. Back then Mike and Marcus were young men and identified themselves with a different generation of audience. But just like Captain Howard metaphorically tells Mike a story during a scene from the film, and finishes by saying, "Where are you going, Mike?".
Where is this film going?
"Bad Boys For Life" struggles to convey a relevant message in its present setting. The plot is basic and unoriginal to the point that even the shock and awe twist can be seen coming from a mile away. The main characters haven't developed beyond the initial "Bad Boys" with each one still as shallow as ever. And the supporting cast which includes up and coming Canadian actor, Alexander Ludwig ( from "Vikings" fame), seem to only be there in a lame capacity highlight the obvious aging of its two main stars. Mike and Marcus have rode together. They have almost died together. Now they should retire together. 5/10.