A Surprisingly Good Sequel
80%Overall Score

Streaming now on Amazon Prime Video

Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) were instantly fan-favorite buddy cops after we were first introduced to them in Michael Bay’s 1995 film Bad Boys. The action-comedy franchise now brings us the third installment Bad Boys For Life. Having been partners for over 25 years, the Miami narcotics detectives find themselves looking back at the good times. Mike is still single and ready to continue taking down the bad guys while Marcus welcomes his grandson into the world and considers retirement. However, when a criminal from Mike’s past returns to seek revenge, the bad boys must band together again. They are joined by the new AMMO team commanded by Rita (Paola Nuñez) as they embark on one last ride to face off against the bewitching Isabel (Kate del Castillo) from the Aretas drug cartel.

Retains its style while delivering the drama

Bad Boys For Life is a pleasant surprise as a sequel that comes nearly two decades after its predecessor. It reintroduces us to the beloved bad boy brand with their signature action and humor combo while also building upon the previous films. Directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah along with writers Chris Bremner, Peter Craig, and Joe Carnahan are all newbies to the franchise. With that, we get an updated perspective and only all the good stuff that we loved from the previous films. They cruise through smooth car chases, lots of shots are fired, and wisecracks are by the handful. However, for an action-comedy, this sequel also has convincing drama to its credit.

Led by an awesome duo

The two lead actors Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, who are the pillars of the franchise, prove to us that they’ve still got it. As Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett, they give us parallel looks of two detectives getting past their prime. Marcus is now a “pop-pop” and ready for a relaxing retirement while Mike isn’t nearly done chasing the bad guys and fighting crime. One memorable sequence with clever editing presents this perfectly. The lead actors’ strengths are on full display as Smith delivers the action and drama while Lawrence brings the laughter. Mexican actress Kate del Castillo is also notable as her character brings the film from its cool Miami landscape into the gritty setting of Mexico city. All the while, there’s never a dull moment because there’s always some action, drama, or humor for you to enjoy. Much like any good action film, Bad Boys For Life winds up with a surprising reveal and an action-packed showdown.

Not enough screen-time for the supporting cast

Supporting actors Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, Charles Melton, and Paola Nunez accompany the bad boys in their fight but they don’t add much else to the film. With Michael Bay not on board for this sequel, there’s also a grenade shaped void to fill for the action. But that doesn’t mean it’s a complete bust because there’s still plenty of burning rubber, gunfire, and explosions to keep you thrilled and sufficiently entertained.

WATCH OR NOT:
The cool cops we knew from the previous films are now getting on in age and Bad Boys For Life uses it to its advantage while delivering just as many laughs and thrills as we expected. If you’re a fan of the franchise, you know you’re going to watch this conclusion anyway because “we ride together, we die together”.

Director: Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah
Writer: Chris Bremner, Peter Craig, Joe Carnahan
Cast: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, Charles Melton, Paola Nunez, Kate Del Castillo, Nicky Jam, Joe Pantoliano, DJ Khaled
Language: English
Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video