Bad Boys for Life
Bad Boys for Life is the most potent Bad Boys film yet, with directors Adil & Bilall trading Michael Bay's over-stylized action and bloated runtime for a film that's leaner and more focused on its characters and the story's progression. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence inject new life into these classic characters.
Directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (known as Adil & Bilall) take over the Bad Boys franchise from action veteran Michael Bay to make for a sequel that actually warrants its existence.
Bad Boys for Life just might be the most well-rounded Bad Boys film yet, narrowing in on its core characters, played with aged confidence by Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, while also exploring a story that might be a tad over-the-top and predictable, but entertaining none-the-less.
Mike (Will Smith) and Marcus (Martin Lawrence) have done it all in the face of law enforcement. Now, Marcus is looking towards retirement and spending time with his new grandson, while Mike continues to ignore the fact that his good years are definitely behind him.
This creates friction between the two partners, with Marcus accepting his time to move on, while Mike struggles to hold onto whatever he can before accepting his true fate.
Things get shaken up as Mike is targeted for murder based on a past case, which causes him to ask for Marcus to help him one last time.
Bad Boys for Life is almost poetic in nature, coming over a decade after the last film, giving the action genre many years to mature and progress, while also allowing for the careers of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence to grow into their own.
It’s great seeing the two back together again, because the chemistry is clear and watching them work together is always entertaining, only now we have some time between the previous film and this film, which allows for reflection and meditation.
Also new are directors Adil & Bilall, swapping out mega action director Michael Bay for two less experienced, but quite masterful directors.
I was originally worried about Bay dropping out of this film, especially after Bad Boys II elevated the action genre into something else entirely, but I can say that Adil & Bilall work magic with the budget that they are given and the script that they are adapting.
Bad Boys for Life feels very much like Bad Boys and not so much Bad Boys II and that’s a good thing, because it allows them to focus more on the characters and harnessing their performances to better serve the script and the story that is being told.
Bad Boys for Life might not win any awards for its original feeling or fresh content, but instead it deserves major props for taking an age-old franchise and pumping new blood and life into it.
The action is mostly good, the camera work is expansive and stable and the performances are great. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence absolutely rock this film and make it worth the price of admission.
Directors Adil & Bilall put their own visual stamp on this project and manage to make a film that’s much leaner and more precise than anything Bay has ever done. The speedy runtime and the film’s ability to never stop moving is refreshing and a change of pace when compared to Bay’s usual over-stuffed approach and sprawling mentality.
Bad Boys for Life might just be the best Bad Boys film yet, in terms of overall progression and accomplishment. It might not have the best action sequences, but it definitely has the better moments between its characters, whether it’s cracking a joke or trying to tackle something a little more tender — Bad Boys for Life knows how to balance the comedy, the action and the emotion when called for.
Bad Boys for Life also sets things up for a sequel, so get ready for more Bad Boys in the near future and hopefully they bring back Adil & Bilall to tackle these characters that clearly have more gas left in the tank.