Bad Boys is considered by many to be one of Michael Bay’s better films. The sequel was not as well received, but I personally enjoy watching it a little more, though I can admit the first is probably the better movie. While Bay is not back to direct for the third installment, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence do return to star as Detective duo Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett. In this film, the two’s old school methods clash with new era police work as they team with a new unit to investigate the murder of several officials that are all linked to an old case from Lowrey’s past.
Though I was excited when I heard this movie was in development, a sequel coming put 24 years after the first movie was enough to keep me cautious. A January release date, which has long been seen as a sign a studio doesn’t have faith in a movie, didn’t help matters either. Luckily, all my worries were set aside once the movie began. I’m shocked at how good this movie turned out to be. Smith and Lawrence slide right back into their respective characters with ease, making it hard to believe it’s been almost 17 years since they were in those roles. Their chemistry is unmatched and their banter is just as good, if not better, than it was in the previous movie.
Bad Boys for Life introduces us to several new characters in the form of new Miami PD unit “AMMO”. While most of these characters are underdeveloped, they do add life into the movie as they teach old dogs new tricks while learning some things themselves. Some of the funniest moments come from returning characters. I won’t spoil most of those here, but I will say it was great to see Joe Pantoliano back as Captain Howard. His tirades against Smith and Lawrence are always fun to watch, and there are plenty of those, as well as other moments, here as well.
Now that you know the movie is funny, as expected, I’m sure you also want to know how the action is. For the most part, it’s great as well. Most scenes are filmed better and easier to follow than the frantic, quick cutting action scenes in a Michael Bay movie. However, none of it is as elevated as moments we get in high profile modern action movies like John Wick or the recent Mission Impossible films. With that said, there are plenty of gunfights and explosions to keep you entertained if that’s what you are looking for. And if you are headed to see a Bad Boys movie, I’m sure you are.
The movie has flaws, without a doubt. It takes about 20 minutes to find it’s footing, but once the inciting incident happens, it finds its groove. As with most good comedies, most of the humor works but some does fall flat, especially in those first 20 minutes. Overall the movie does struggle to find a consistent tone, with some moments really packing a lot of emotion, only to be followed by a scene full of comedy. It does manage to work a lot of the time, but it does come off a bit odd a couple times.
Bad Boys for Life had disaster written all over it, but managed to pull out the impossible. It’s a really good movie and I recommend laughing along with a big audience in a movie theater. It does set up for another sequel and I’m game for it after this one.
Bad Boys for Life ears a Positive ROP.
Ratings from low to high: Felony, Misdemeanor, 10-4, Positive ROP, Golden Donut