Ride together. Die together...
Michael Bay’s Bad Boys (1995) and Bad Boys II (2003) still remain two of cinema’s most enjoyable cop-buddy action-comedy movies. The chemistry between Will Smith (smooth ladies man Mike Lowry) and Martin Lawrence (skittish family man Marcus Burnett) is electric, and both movies boast spectacular action sequences, laugh-out-loud comedic moments, and a genuinely touching bond between both men that the audience actually cares about.
Fast forward 17 years later, and we now have Bad Boys For Life, the third instalment in the series. While Will Smith is still at the very top of Hollywood’s A-list elite, Martin Lawrence’s cinematic output since Bad Boys II has been far and few between (Big Momma’s House 2, anyone?). And big-time action director Bay has handed over the reign to ‘Adil and Bilall’ (exactly – who?). So, signs were already not promising going into this movie…
Right off the bat, it’s clear that Bad Boys For Life is destined for the threequel dustbin that already consists of Blade 3, X-Men 3, Robocop 3, and Terminator 3. Yep, it really is that bad.
So, the plot – or what little of it there is. The story revolves around some thrown-together cobblers about Mike Lowry’s past that has now come back to haunt him (and also bizarrely re-writes Mike’s entire character and history as set out in the first Bad Boys). Marcus Burnett is now a retired grandfather who is forced to come back and give Mike some much-needed support.
Smith still looks good enough to pull off the suave Miami cop schtick, but Lawrence looks far too old and out of shape to be plausible as one of Miami's finest police detectives - didn’t anyone tell Lawrence to lose some weight before his return to the silver screen? In a nutshell, the movie is severely disjointed, feeling almost cobbled together from a load of random scenes. Lawrence yells “Oh shit!” about 50 times. The colours are over-saturated to the point of being cartoonish. The two directors use so much slow-mo it puts Zack Snyder's 300 to shame. And there is so much CGI fire in the movie it becomes comical – seriously, it seems that at least 25% of the budget went on animating all the damn CGI fire!
I wish I could say the Smith-Lawrence chemistry was still intact, but even their banter felt too forced. Pointless gunfights, terrible acting, senseless action, and very, very bad editing. Toss this one straight into the bin and watch the first two instead.
Terrible, just terrible. Don’t let it tarnish the legacy of its predecessors - just simply refuse to acknowledge Bad Boys For Life exists, and all will be well.