BAD BOYS FOR LIFE: SERIOUSLY WILL, YOU’RE BETTER THAN THIS

IMAGE+OF+WILL+SMITH+%26+MARTIN+LAWRENCE

Photographs courtesy of NYTIMES.COM

IMAGE OF WILL SMITH & MARTIN LAWRENCE

Bad Boys for Life – the name itself led me to expect a terrible retread of an exhausted series that had been by the evil Hollywood necromancers who see every dead series as a potential cash-grab and forced to rise as a shambling undead reflection of its former self. But somehow, through the magic that is Will Smith and the alchemy of his banter with Martin Lawrence, a spark of true life emerged and made this potential undead abomination somewhat watchable.

Bad Boys for Life is the latest installment in the Bad Boys series. If you have never heard of this series, don’t feel bad, as the last entry was in 2003 and the first was in 1995. This is an old series at this point, and the leading actors are older as well. That is what leads to the most egregious problem of the movie. Mike, the character played by Will Smith, and Marcus, Martin Lawrence, are older and being forced to confront their own fragility and what their futures hold. This could be an interesting angle, but it is largely ignored in favor of a cliché plot with a weak villain and a poorly thought-out storyline. The over-the-top action is entertaining, but that makes it impossible to take any of the attempts at dramatic character exploration seriously.

However, as I said, the chemistry between the lead characters is what makes this film watchable. Martin Lawrence and Will Smith are both excellent actors with charisma to spare, and they carry this shambling corpse all the way to the finish line. It’s old, it’s tired, but Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are always a good time. Seriously though, Will, I’ve made this plea before – you’re too good for this. I am begging you, on my knees with tears in my eyes… please, Will Smith, pick better movies.

All in all, 3 out of 5.
A rental at best.