Whatcha Gonna Do When they Come for You?

Bad Boys for Life is the unceremonious highest grossing American film of 2020. They got incredibly lucky that the third film’s constant delays eventually ended up before movie theaters imploded. Although Michael Bay always talked about a Bad Boys 3, it took 17 years for anything to come of it. By that point, unknown Belgian directors Adil & Bilall ended up directing. Although I thought that was a bad sign, turns out the franchise can be a lot better without the usual Bayisms. Since Bad Boys for Life is easily the best in the series. Despite the distance between sequels, Will Smith maintained a steady film presence and barely aged a decade.

Martin Lawrence stuck to less than well-received comedies and is definitely bigger than he was before. Smith finally has top-billing, but this is still a buddy cop movie that feels like no time has past. Police Detectives Marcus Burnett and Mike Lowrey are just as funny as they were before. It’s not so distant from its over-the-top roots, but it’s way more sincere and surprisingly heartfelt. Mike’s violent past catches up with him when a Mexican former lover and her battle-ready son targets him for the arrest of her deceased husband. Meanwhile, Marcus finds religion after Mike faces a near-death experience.

Unlike the previous movies, the villains have much more importance. Older cast members like Joe Pantoliano or the actors who played Burnett’s family all return. Even Michael Bay makes a small cameo. Similar to Expendables 3, the aging Bad Boys are joined by a much younger division that includes Cato from The Hunger Games, Gabriella from High School Musical, and Reggie from Riverdale. Unlike the former, the new blood actually works. Lowrey even gets a tough new love interest to work with. Action is just as good with the right amount of guns, explosions, and car chases. Bad Boys for Life came out at just the right time.

Bad Boys for Life

Detective Sergeants Marcus Burnett (right) and Mike Lowrey (left) on the job

Preceded by: Bad Boys II

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