Bad Boys for Life 2020 Review
Posted 2020-01-29 12:32:53
Bad Boys for Life 2020
Cast : Will Smith - Martin Lawrence - Vanessa Hudgens - Alexander Ludwig - Charles Melton
Rating: R (for strong bloody violence, language throughout, sexual references and brief drug use)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Comedy
Directed By: Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah
Written By: Chris Bremner, Peter Craig, Joe Carnahan
In Theaters: Jan 17, 2020 Wide
Runtime: 123 minutes
Studio: Columbia Pictures
Marcus and Mike have to confront new issues (career changes and midlife crises), as they join the newly created elite team AMMO of the Miami police department to take down the ruthless Armando Armas, the vicious leader of a Miami drug cartel.
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The comedic chemistry of Martin Lawrence and Will Smith has to do a lot of heavy lifting in “Bad Boys for Life,” the third buddy-cop action movie to feature the pair as maverick Miami detectives. They get the job done — delivering a mildly enjoyable movie that committed fans of the franchise will rate a lot higher — but they have to hack through a lot of by-the-numbers plotting and indolent characterizations to get there.
The opening sequence depicts Will Smith’s Mike Lowrey at the wheel of a Porsche, speeding furiously, while Martin Lawrence’s Marcus Burnett shouts loud enough to drown out the engine. As it’s been 17 years since “Bad Boys II,” one might smell a midlife-male punch line, and sure enough, they are in a hurry to attend the birth of Marcus’s grandson. Marcus, hence, would like to stop and smell the roses; Mike thinks retirement is a dirty word.
A vengeful assassin, the son of a drug cartel matriarch on a mission, bloodies the waters of their argument by taking a few shots at Mike. Six months later, a new division of the Miami P.D., led by a former paramour of Mike’s, is puzzling over the ammo that hit the detective. (AMMO is also the acronym of the new, tech-savvy division, Advanced Miami Metro Operations.) Going rogue, or roguish, Mike finds its source, forms an alliance with the new kids, and, over the objections of good ol’ Captain Howard (Joe Pantoliano, here channeling a demon hybrid of Joe Pesci and Rudolph Giuliani) gets in the ring, with a very reluctant Marcus following.
The screenplay by Chris Bremmer, Peter Craig and Joe Carnahan offers buddy-cop greatest hits dialogue like “He dies last” “We had a deal,”; “If it’s the cartel, she’s gonna have serious backup”; and the ominous “One last time? One last time.” But Lawrence’s riffs almost always land.
They especially need to in the final quarter, when the movie sets the bar high for this year’s Dopiest Movie Plot Twist competition. It’s a moment that’s meant to enhance character and raise emotional stakes, and the movie takes it seriously for maybe a minute and 45 seconds before Lawrence’s character starts making light of it.