Bad Boys for Life (2020)

“We ride together, we die together.”“We ride together, we die together.”

“We ride together, we die together.”

Bad boys bad boys whatcha gonna do whatcha gonna do when they come for you? Did they really make the world wait 17 years after Bad Boys 2 was released to conclude the trilogy? Unfortunately, so – this could have been either a good calculated move or it could have been too little too late. I’d say it’s a mix of both when the rumors started to make their way into the public’s eye. There’s something about an unfinished trilogy that leaves so many questions unanswered that going into a film that is 17 years in the making can almost feel disappointing if the expectations aren’t met.

The first two installments of this trilogy has Michael Bay’s DNA throughout as he directed them so it is intriguing to see what a Michael Bay-less direction could do. Subjectivity speaking, the first two are quite enjoyable – to say this film wasn’t anticipated by fans is an understatement. This is a series that needs no introduction unless you’ve been living under a rock the past 25 years. The amount of quotable lines in the first two installments alone make for a third film that can only offer the same. Knowing what we know now about certain directors and their processes i.e. the Transformers series, It is welcoming to learn that this 3rd film will be directed by new directors.

The first two Bad Boys films come with a schtick of the “bad boys” Mike Lowery (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) either arguing over a case or driving at top speed in a top of the line exotic sports car that Mike owns. Sometimes they cross over and right when we are first reintroduced to the “bad boys” guess what their doing? But this time it’s different, these “boys” have matured into men and their arguing isn’t as flashy and annoying like in the first two films in the trilogy. The illusion is that they are on a case but where they’re really going is the surprise.

This film is filled with realizations that Mike and Marcus aren’t as invincible as they once thought – their lives have changed, and their bodies have aged. There is more important aspects of life that Marcus’s attention is on even though Mike still seems to be the same Mike that we have all come to know and love. As the story unfolds we as the audience get to see his motivations change about life and what he finds important. Their characters needed to grow up for a third film to work otherwise we’re in a time loop which wouldn’t feel organic to what this story is.

The Character development is much better this time around. It makes the movie as good as it is. It has always been Mike and Marcus against everybody with Captain Howard (Joe Pantoliano) yelling so fiercely that he might give himself an aneurism. The action, although rather wild towards the end, is planned out more effectively in this film. There doesn’t need to be 25 explosions to get the point across that the bad guys need to be stopped. Thankfully, Mike and Marcus learned not to go guns blazing into a place filled with enemies all thanks to Lieutenant Rita Secada (Paola Núñez) and her AMMO team.

To be fair Mike would start shooting after the action started so it’s really not his fault; give credit where credit is due. This feels like a bad boys film when it all comes down to it. What happens in the second act adds extra weight and emotion to Mike and Marcus’s cause to stop Armando (Jacob Scipio) and his mother Isabel (Kate del Castillo) from causing complete chaos. As good as the character development is for Mike and Marcus and the rest of the AMMO team of Kelly, Dorn, and Rafe (Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, and Charles Melton), the development of Armando isn’t. His and his mother Isabel’s motivations aren’t fully realized feeling incomplete.

Mike is a playboy; he’s been that way since the world was introduced to him so it’s possible he so it’s possible he would have an illegitimate son. The execution of this story line misses the mark completely. Armando trains his entire life to kill the people his mother tells him to, but does he ever stop and ask why? Not like She would tell him but still there is a feeling of a deeper reason behind it. Going into the first act of this film had me believing Armando was the son of Hector Tapia, the villain from Bad Boys II played by Jordi Mollà but that wasn’t the case.

A continuation of the story would have felt more organic but that isn’t the case. What we get is a bit of confusion from Armando in the actions that he’s taken to kill Mike and everyone that was “Involved” at the manipulation of his mother. Isabel feels completely out of place in the third act. She doesn’t look like a trained fighter but when she faces off against Marcus, she’s a ninja straight out of a Kill Bill movie. Granted, Marcus has lost a step or two and was never good at hand to hand combat. The third act also feels derivative from the second film. A big shootout in a foreign palace doesn’t scream originality as the direction of this third film felt unlike its predecessors. If anything is certain with this franchise, Will and Martin have this infectious chemistry together, they work incredibly well together. It’s pleasant to see these two back together finishing what they started.

Overall Bad Boys for Life is the best film in the trilogy with good pacing and plenty of shocks throughout the film. It completes Mike and Marcus’s stories giving the farewell the characters deserve. The pre credit scene alludes to a fourth film giving off a Fast & Furious franchise building vibe. Thankfully, Bad Boys for Life wasn’t affected by the COVID-19 pandemic having a successful theatrical run making it the most successful film out of the trilogy. Can this franchise be resurrected the way Creed resurrected the Rocky Franchise? With the box office this film made, it can only be a certainty. If I were to rate Bad Boys for Life, I’d rate it a 4 out of 5.

So, tell me guys, have you seen Bad Boys for Life and if so, what do you think about it? Do you agree or disagree with me? Comment below or send me an email and let me know what you think.

Bad Boys for Life is directed by Bilall Fallah & Adil El Arbi is Rated R and has an 77% on Rotten Tomatoes. Bad Boys for Life was released on January 17th, 2020 and has a runtime of 2 hours and 4 minutes. Bad Boys for Life can be bought online by retailers including Vudu, Google and Itunes.

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