Film Review – Bad Boys For Life

Whatcha gonna do, watcha gonna do when they come for you? Well you’re gonna watch them try to become Fast and Furious. Yes, we finally have a Bad Boys 3 but in actuality it felt like a whole bunch of ‘team and world’ building that you usually find in the first movie of a franchise.

Bad Boys For Life is the long awaited threequel to Bad Boys (1995) and Bad Boys II (2003). Yes you read those dates right. 25 years since the first film! Surely that’s a record. This time around we’re Michael Bay-less and stunningly, given that time period between films, both Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are back as Lowrey and Burnett respectively.

The lack of Michael Bay in this movie is evident in a completely non-negative way. As much as I love Bad Boys II this film avoids its failings and does away with the chaos. Bad Boys For Life is coherent. It doesn’t feel like three movies squished together. It’s still over the top as all hell but felt of a piece. Tonally and cinematically this feels like a singular movie.

Despite what I said about it trying to be Fast and Furious (which it is) this film is flat out Bad Boys. It hits all the familiar beats. Often times knowingly and played for laughs. Smith and Lawrence’s chemistry has gone nowhere and they’re great together again. Stylistically it feels inline with Bay’s films except more focussed and realised.

We get a great new supporting cast. A cast that one would suspect would return as some sort of furious family if a sequel occurred. We see that team working and struggling together. I actually quite enjoyed the scenes with the whole ensemble. It kept the film from potentially feeling stale. There’s also some loose threads left hanging at the end of the movie so I expect I’ll get to see some more of them.

The most exciting part though was the emergence of directors Adil & Bilall. Not they’re debut film but the first time I’ve seen their names on the silver screen. They were able to not only mimic Bay’s style but also bring things to the table that were wholly original. They’re the real MVP’s of this film. They took chances. They used shots I hadn’t seen before. They made the whole film cool as hell.

If you weren’t a Bad Boys fan before now this movie probably ain’t gonna convert you. But if you can stand the other two then this film is worth your time. Not a masterpiece but it doesn’t need to be. It was fun, it was cool, it was Bad Boys. If you need more than that then this isn’t the franchise for you.

Probably worth the 17 year wait provided that Bad Boys is your thing:

★★★

Written by Benjamin Boekelaar