BAD BOYS FOR LIFE gets 6.5/10 Reboot together

Directed by Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah

Starring Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Paola Núñez, Joe Pantoliano, Jacob Scipio, Vanessa Hudgens


For the Bad Boys series to be revived when The Fast and the Furious franchise is at its height makes a lot of sense, given how much Bad Boys influenced so much of what The Fast and the Furious is today, with its high-octane power and its sheer explosive ridiculousness. Now the influence has been reversed, with this third instalment of Bad Boys feeling more explosive and more ridiculous than ever before, but it also hasn’t forgotten the importance of the main characters’ kinship, as well as the funny banter that results from it.

The Bad Boys themselves, Mike (Will Smith) and Marcus (Martin Lawrence) are on the hunt for the son of a slain criminal, Armando (Jacob Scipio), who’s taking out each of those involved with his father’s case, leading up to Mike. It’s a story that’s as simple as could be, with a few twists later on that make it only more bemusing than exciting, but it works as a foundation to present the differing ideals between these two cops – Mike is determined to be a bad boy for life, but Marcus (who’s only just become a grandfather) is more fond of retiring early and keeping himself safe at home with his family.

As much as Bad Boys For Life has a focus on wacky action sequences, it also has as much focus on the chemistry between these two men and how they each feel propelled or pushed away from each intense situation they’re faced with – particularly as Armando seems like quite the badass (and unstoppable) assassin. Although a twist about family in the film’s last act feels contrived to generate some further conflict at the end, it’s Smith and Lawrence who are the brotherly heart of the film, beefed up with some hilarious banter between the two that often doesn’t stop, even during the action and drama scenes.

For those seasoned on the incredible and ludicrous action sequences of The Fast and the Furious films, Bad Boys For Life will likely feel a tad less impressive, with some fairly entertaining car chases, fight scenes, and gun battles, and the climax showdown being the highlight the film has been building up to.

A satisfying, but not hugely refreshing return for the Bad Boys team, this third instalment has been somewhat worth the wait, retaining the good sense of fun, humour, and excitement as the last two (Michael Bay didn’t direct this one, but as a good sport, he appears in a small cameo). With so many years between the three of these films in the franchise, another one soon would now not be unwelcome.


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