The Bad Boys franchise for African-American audiences is one of our beloved classics where we quote lines a zillion times. So, it suffices to say, I was nervous, yet excited to see my favs Will Smith and Martin Lawrence team up one more time for the ride of a lifetime. Needless to say, they did not disappoint.
Bad Boys For Life wastes no time with setting up a frivolous plot and gets right to heart of the matter embracing all the nuggets we have loved about this film from day one. This time Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) and Mike Lowry (Will Smith) are set on tracking down the perp responsible for taking out key members of the Miami Police Department and attempting to take out “Bulletproof” Mike Lowry. A moment that had my jaw dropped to my crack…literally.
Smith and Lawrence don’t skip a beat. Their comedic chemistry moments never skip a beat and provide for many a laugh out loud moment. It’s wonderful to see franchise favs like Joe Pantoliano (Captain Howard) and Theresa Randle (Theresa Burnett) and new additions like the Ammo team consisting of Charles Melton (Rafe), Paola Nunez (Rita), Vanessa Hudgens (Kelly) and Alexander Ludwig (Dorn).
Miami is once again serving as a silent partner/character and serving up a head-bopping scored by DJ Khaled (who also has a small part in the film as a former informant) and some recognizable drum beats from the legendary Sheila E. (known for her hit Glamorous Life and being a touring artist with the late PRINCE).
Not for nothing, but this franchise has consistently shown beautiful, smart women in charge harkening all the way back to the original (Marg Helgenberger) to this incarnation with Paola Nunez being the head chick in charge and Vanessa Hudgens as a computer savvy operative who can handle ammo with ease and precision (there’s even a little High School Musical joke in there if you catch it:). What would Bad Boys be without some slow-mo action sequences and dynamite ignited building blow ups. I was there for all of it!!!
You have to give it up to Smith and Lawrence for embracing where they are age wise and nothing illustrates it more than during a gun fight where Lawrence proclaims “it’s like seeing in HD” when he embraces his poor eyesight by finally wearing his glasses. Then again, “Big Willy” aka the ageless Will Smith has taken a page from the Tom Cruise, Sylvester Stallone, Denzel Washington, Samuel L. Jackson book of star power doing his own stunts.
At the end of the day, this diverse franchise proves that the fourth time is definitely a charm giving audiences a Bad Boys for Life that is Hasta El Fuego!!! Oh yeah, stay for the end credit and be prepared for a little surprise plot twist. Judge for yourself when the Sony Pictures produced film scorches into theaters on January 17.