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article imageReview: ‘Bad Boys for Life’ haven’t lost their touch Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Jan 17, 2020 in Entertainment
Will Smith and Martin Lawrence reunite for ‘Bad Boys for Life,’ in which the duo’s commitment to the badge and each other is tested.
The latest trend is to pick up a narrative some decades after the franchise’s last picture was released. This involves getting most of the actors to reprise their roles — not just the protagonists, but some of the supporting cast too if the film is to really feel like a continuation of the previous one. It also requires the performers to slip back into personas they likely haven’t visited for many years and make it seem like they never left. Audiences enjoy the trip down memory lane as much as those in the picture and, if done correctly, everyone has a good time. Next up, the renegade cop duo from Miami returns in Bad Boys for Life.
Mike Lowry (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) have been busting bad guys together for nearly 25 years. While Mike is still enjoying life as a carefree bachelor chasing down criminals, Marcus is ready to hang up his gun and enjoy being a grandfather. When Mike is targeted by an assassin with a score to settle, the men are faced with a difficult decision: get out while they still have their lives, or go after the dangerous culprits full throttle. Their opinions differ on the matter, but they swore an oath to each other and they’re not about to break it now.
This movie feels like it’s divided in the middle into two one-hour sections that leave very different impressions. The first half highlights how old they’ve become and how far they’ve come since last seen in 2003. However, as their age begins to show, so does their vulnerability, which forces them to come to terms with the fact that they’re not invincible. But even though their line of work is dangerous, they’re still two of the city’s best detectives and they’ve got a job to do. From the moment they bump fists, reaffirming they’re “bad boys for life,” and the theme music hits the soundtrack, the movie does a 180. Suddenly, the awkwardness caused by their conflicting goals is gone, and Mike and Marcus are back again. The action heats up and their fast-paced banter is back up to par.
This movie also sees Mike and Marcus teaming up with a group of new recruits led by Rita (Paola Nuñez). AMMO is a newly appointed, elite investigation unit with specialists who add firepower, tech skills, and modern-day surveillance and data gathering strategies to the duo’s old school tactics of breaking down doors and busting heads. They’re also incredibly competent officers you want watching your back. They bring a level of confidence and intensity to shootouts and undercover operations alike. However, they’re not stereotypical in anyway, even though they fill certain roles typical of these types of teams – smartass, tech guru and weapons enthusiast.
The movie employs the classic formula for the third installment of a trilogy in which someone’s past comes back to haunt them, though it’s a bit more complicated than it first appears. It also has a Lethal Weapon vibe with Mike driving them full-speed into the next fray and Marcus consistently implying they’re “too old for this sh#t.” While it’s fun seeing old faces still doing the same shtick, the first half of this movie may have viewers wondering if everyone involved made a mistake signing onto this project. But the second half is fully redeeming and worth the wait. Also, the mid-credits sequence suggests this may not be their last ride… though Mike should stop letting Marcus into his Porsche.
Directors: Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah
Starring: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence and Paola Nuñez
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