Bad Boys for Life

bad_boys_for_life_ver2STARS3 I was skeptical.  When they unearth and dust off some long-done franchise for another sequel, it’s very easy to simply view it as a cash grab.  Bad Boys II was released in 2003.  17 years have passed and now we get this entry.  Surprise!  The result is a lively diversion.  Jerry Bruckheimer is back again to produce but Belgian directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah are helming the film.  The ambiance is calmer and more coherent than the previous movies directed by Michael Bay.   However, fans will appreciate this.  Critics have already hailed it as the best of the trilogy.  (Side note: a fourth episode is planned).

Bad Boys for Life is entertaining.  Sometimes going back to the well can yield engaging results.  I was one of the few that enjoyed Men in Black: International, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.  The fundamental difference with this release is the original stars have returned.  The pairing of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence is the reason to see this.  They ground the film with their considerable charisma.

The comedy smartly acknowledges that they are indeed older.  Although can they rightly be called “boys” at this point?  They’re quinquagenarians.  Nevertheless, Will Smith doesn’t seem to age.  As Mike Lowrey, he’s the straight man while Martin Lawrence gets to be the comic relief as Marcus Burnett.  Marcus just wants to retire and spend time with his newborn grandson.  It’s a formula but hey it works.  This conventional action movie coasts on the affable charm of its stars.  The screenplay by Chris Bremner, Peter Craig, and Joe Carnahan has given some depth to the backstories of these characters. Actors Kate del Castillo and Jacob Scipio portray antagonists that are better than the run of the mill kingpins that have blighted this franchise in the past.   One individual has prior ties with a villain.  That connection adds some interesting insight into these relationships.

Bad Boys for Life is undemanding fun.  That is — it has little value beyond providing an evening’s worth of amusement.  If anyone should be enriched the most from this exercise it’s Sony Pictures.  This was a surprise hit.   People often bemoan the fact that Hollywood likes to recycle old properties.  The success of this picture is a prime example of why studios rely so heavily on the practice.  It’s perfectly fine.  Aficionados of the earlier flicks will be satisfied and those seeking 2 hours of distraction should be appeased as well.  I was.  Nonetheless, I’m glad I wrote this review shortly after I watched the film.  I doubt I’ll remember much of it by next week.

01-16-20

13 Responses to “Bad Boys for Life”

  1. Pleasantly surprised. Isn’t saying much, but the script is even the best of the three. Never been as high on the franchise as others, but, this is one I can actually see myself rewatching here and there.

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  2. Michael Bay goes away (at least from the directing chair) and the movie gets better reviews . . . hm . . . anyone else noticing a connection?

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    • Ha ha. I enjoyed his early films (Bad Boys, The Rock, Armageddon) but yeah his excesses got to be too much. I didn’t even bother with 6 Underground on Netflix.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Btw I got my thoughts up on Parasite if you’d like to come on by some time. No obligations of course 😀

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      • I just read your review. Good stuff! I left a comment but it didn’t post so I’m not sure what happened.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Huh, that’s strange. I’ll check my spam folder to see if it was sent there for some reason. That’s happened to me elsewhere on WordPress though. The site keeps glitching.

        Anyway, pretty sure we’re in agreement on that movie. I definitely felt the first half was stronger than the second but ultimately the whole thing was just a thrill for me. It was a great introduction to Bong Joon Ho.

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      • Not sure but I think it has to be approved before it shows up.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I just dug out both your comments from my Spam folder. No idea why they went there, but problem solved 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. A lot of fun and excitement. The chemistry is what makes this film. They work well off each other. I liked it. 3 stars

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  4. Agreed with your review but i gave the film 2 1/2 stars. The two leads and their chemistry was the reason i enjoyed it. Not so much the action.

    But looking back at Bad Boys (part 1), it made me wonder if it was a landmark for the modern action film, in terms of style and pacing.

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