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By midlandsmovies, May 7 2020 04:20PM

Bad Boys for Life (2020) Dir. Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah

17 years later and we’re back for a third outing with buddy-cop detective duo Will Smith as ladies-man Mike Lowrey and his family-orientated partner Martin Lawrence as Marcus Burnett. The two again banter and shoot their way out of a new case involving murder and money in Miami.

The story involves the widow of a kingpin who escapes from a prison and sends her son to the USA to recover hidden cash and take down Mike Lowrey. As Lawrence becomes a grandfather and (again) plans to leave the force, Mike is victim of a shooting. But when he returns to action, he vows revenge on the criminals who attacked him.

This well-worn narrative is simply the playground for shrewdly put together action sequences and the usual entertaining repartee from our leads. Mike reluctantly joins forces with a tactical team and a surprise death ramps up his intentions even more so.

Punch-ups, shoot outs and car-chases are all present and it all seems the stuff we’ve seen a million times before. Well it is. But somehow it mostly works. The two leads are still very likeable and although the comedy is too often the “we’re too old for this sh*t” type, there’s enough good humour, a smattering of solid drama and plenty of explosive action to enjoy.

In fact, there’s something very warm and familiar about popping back to characters we haven’t seen in over a decade. In many ways, the production delays help each film, as we drop in on the duo each decade. That way, there’s more story to tell, we grow with them and without over-egging it, it’s like visiting a distant family member.

All the pieces slot together in ways that are recognizable and obvious, but I can’t say I didn’t enjoy the familiar ride. In the end, Bad Boys for Life delivers the appropriate goods with a great thumping soundtrack.

And that was more enough to satisfy a re-visit to this established world that gets by on its enthusiastic and exciting energy.


Michael Sales

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