Bad Boys For Life

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Will Smith returns as…yes, Detective Mike Lowry, but also as the same character in almost the same movie we saw a few months ago — Gemini Man. Both films had a person on a motorcycle attacking (even with the bike stopping on its front wheel right before a gunshot). Both movies revealed the killer to be a son (or was it a clone? I can’t remember now).

Both movies were utterly ridiculous, and felt like action pictures that were tired back in the ‘90s.

Of course Martin Lawrence is also back, as Marcus Burnett. I’m guessing Lawrence is the one who was bugging Smith to get the band back together one more time. That means they can make a bunch of dad jokes about their age (the only one that ever lands is one bit about bad eyesight).

Lawrence does have a few scenes that elicit laughs. An opening with him holding a baby and crying, as well as an ending with him singing the Bad Boys theme song in a humorous way. That hardly warrants sitting through over two hours of this garbage.

So, there’s a prison break that doesn’t seem the least bit believable. That leads to the prisoner taking over a cartel his dad used to run, which doesn’t seem the least bit believable. The widow behind the scenes, wants her son to get revenge on all the men who were instrumental in killing her kingpin hubby. Yep. Lowry is the last on the list. So we watch idiotic scenes of the sniper taking out a judge, a DA, yadda yadda yadda.

I’ve never been much of a Michael Bay fan, but surprisingly, he’s not behind the camera for this garbage. That would be Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, who are doing a movie just as bad as Bay would have.

I know these buddy cop/action pictures aren’t supposed to be realistic. But, that means…I let things slide, like when Burnett is hanging over a balcony with fire all around him, and Lowry is holding him, and he says he can feel his ass cookin’. I let that go. It’s fun. But when the movie starts with the police force all in hot pursuit, driving recklessly somewhere…and we find out it’s to the hospital to get Burnett to see the birth of his grandbaby — nah. Or…when Lowry is shot three times in the chest early in the movie…you figure his character is going to die, and this will end the bad Bad Boys trilogy. Nope. A few months later, he’s up and walking around, and fighting folks like he’s Jason Bourne. Well, not right away. At first, his former girlfriend (Vanessa Hudgens), who now runs AMMO (which stands for something goofy I can’t remember), wants her crew of hip youngsters to investigate it without his input. She punches him in an area he got shot, and he winces in pain. A week later, though…he’ll be sliding on the ground shooting bad guys, and wrestling with them during a drug deal gone bad.

One of my all time favorite movies is The World According to Garp. At the end of that, Robin Williams’ character took those same gunshots to the chest, and the movie ended with him dying in a helicopter. But in this, the character is shot in the chest three times and ends up jumping onto a ladder dangling from a helicopter. Oy! 

It was nice to see Joe Pantoliano, except that he’s spouting those cliches about his officers. I kept waiting for him to say “You’re a loose canon” or “You guys seem to be playing by your own set of rules,” or the ever-popular, “You do a stunt like that again, I’ll have your badges!!”

It’s crazy that Lowry not only slept with the gorgeous officer in AMMO, but also the attractive woman that wants him dead (hell hath no fury like a woman scorned). Oh, there’s also a joke about him having slept with his partner’s sister and kicking her to the curb. I think they should’ve gotten Will Smith to be the next James Bond.

Smith looks amazing for his age, but I found myself chuckling at how pudgy Lawrence was. That sort of works in his favor, since he’s the one deadset on retiring. And while the things he does in retirement never work as humor (a ceiling fan that flies off and almost kills him), there was one clever bit that showed an edit; as one puts on a nifty sportscoast, the other puts on a robe. The sharp-dressed man sits down in a sports car, while the other plops onto a recliner. One shifts the car into 5th gear, the other grabs the handle and reclines his chair. If only there could have been more moments like that.

The movie may have had one or two good lines (my wife and I laughed out loud, when Lawrence hops into a motorcycle sidecar and sees lots of weapons and exclaims, “This looks like an angry white man’s basement!”).

More often, it was just dumb premises, like young hackers with drones who don’t want to fight…making fun of the old-timers.

Sheila E. has a Miami-vibed score that works, although points get taken away for including Jaden Smith on the soundtrack. At least DJ Khaled (who also has a small role in the film), refrains from yelling out his name during any of the action.

This movie is yet again, more proof that you can’t trust Rotten Tomatoes. It’s currently scoring in the mid-70s, and it’ll be one of the worst movies of the year. Sure, the year is young, but I can’t imagine many movies being worse than this.

1 star out of 5.


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