If you choose to see Hollywood’s latest sequel, my advice is not to revisit its previous installments. Just have a mental check-in with yourself and the Bad Boys: Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. “Woosah.”
Back for round three in Bad Boys for Life, detective Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) wants to play it safe and make it home alive to spend time with his family, while his partner Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) loves the thrill of the chase, whether it’s with the ladies or Miami’s many criminals. Even though they’re polar opposites, they both love justice — and they’ll be friends for life because they wrote that they would in each other’s high school yearbook.
It’s better to have just a dull recollection of the humor and dynamic these two have shared in the past because all you’ll get here is a faint impression of what was once highly entertaining. I’m not saying the movie lacks any excitement, but you can almost feel the hot battery on your ear from all the phoning-in going on, especially from Smith.
For every laugh-out-loud moment to be shared in the theater, there are 10 that go over like lead balloons. And while the direction has capable moments of flash — should I say it? — Bad Boys and Bad Boys II helmer Michael Bay probably would have done better than the Belgian duo of Adil and Bilall, although Bay’s best work is almost certainly behind him.
I did enjoy some of the set pieces, and it’s always nice to see Miami on the silver screen in all its hot and sandy splendor. But even as a die-hard action fan, this one’s a tough sell, especially following the series’ two far superior predecessors. Bad Boys II remains my personal favorite of the three — an alleged “last ride” that really should have been Mike and Marcus’ final adventure.