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Bad Boys For Life Review

The year is 2020. Almost all of the predictions of the future are not true.

Cars don’t fly

Sneakers dont automatically lace themselves up

Harrison Ford is still not a replicant.

But one bold assumption of the future remains true…

Will Smith is still popping.

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It’s been 25 years since Michael Bay decided to pair the fresh prince, Will Smith, and comic genius Martin Lawrence together in their first leading roles as actors. In the two and a half decades after many things have happened. I was born, the twin towers fell, Trump became president, the list goes on. 

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No one, and I mean, NO ONE, could have predicted this.

Having only ever seen bits and pieces of the first two films, I couldn’t understand all the love the original Bad Boys had in years prior. Everytime I caught a glimpse of the originals, they just played out like big dumb action movies, aka Michael bay’s bread and butter. I pretty much dismissed them as netflix fodder – movies you play in the background while you do other, more important shit. It wasn’t until one lonely night in Florida I decided to give the movie a shot.

And now I understand the appeal…

Bad Boys 3 is a sequel nobody asked for, but is the sequel we all deserve. 

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In the first 10 minutes alone, Will and Martin are whipping the porche down a busy miami street, roasting each other and racing against the clock… to see Martin’s daughter give birth to his grandson. It’s ridiculous and silly, but that’s all of the fun. It literally wastes no time in being fun and exciting. 

It’s refreshing to watch a movie where the plot is simple and streamlined like it is in Bad Boys. In this installment, the duo initially split after Will gets shot in an assasination attempt. This pushes Martin into retirement, to savor his own life and celebrate the life of his grandson. But once old friends start getting murdered in the same assassination plot, the Bad Boys spring out of retirement to find the killer and bring him to justice. 

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In most films, a plot this basic would be a death sentence. I know I would rather commit seppuku with a flaming butter knife in front of a live audience of children than watch a boring generic action movie like Green Lantern. 

Fortunately, I get to postpone my broadcasted suicide, because the plot is smart enough to get the hell out of the way of the main characters and let the actors really shine. With all his recent Youtube hijinks and familial Red Table Talks, Will Smith has snatched the role of America’s Dad from Bill Cosby.

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Thank God, because Cosby was totally putting the kids to bed with roofies instead of bedtime stories.

But here, Will plays the kind of eternal playboy that would make Tony Stark jealous. (R.I.P my boy Tony tho). Martin, however, has settled into the family man, comic relief foil Will desperately needs to keep the film from becoming too self serious. Its a formula studios like Marvel have borrowed and duplicated a million times over. What really separates Bad Boys from the pack is the fact that it’s set here, on this Earth, with no aliens, demons, or sky portals to close. It’s nice to know movies can still be made exciting without a CGI best friend in the room.

Visually, this is a Michael Bay movie through and through. It’s got warm, vibrant colors and explosions filmed from every angle possible. However I will note that this time, Mr. Bay and his team brought tripods with them. Unlike Transformers and some of his other projects, the action here is very visible, making it easy to tell what’s going on at all times, even when there’s chaos filling the screen. 

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The audio is also well done. It’d be easy to go deaf with so many explosions, but once again Bay and his team take a balanced approach to sound design. Bad Boys 3 never suffers from the “Quiet Dialogue, Loud Action” bullshit that some other action movies suffer from. 

The film isn’t without its flaws, but that doesn’t actually matter here. Bad Boys 3 isn’t the work of art that’s trying to impress the critics. Bad Boys 3 is the film that brings some levity to people who’ve had a long day at work and just want to have fun on a lonely Saturday night. And it succeeds tremendously at that. 

Sidebar:

  • This movie has a unique 4 act structure that I really enjoy
  • You don’t need to see the first two to enjoy this flick, it ain’t that type of trilogy fam
  • I didn’t mention Will and Martin’s character names because I forgot them, but who cares. You’re going to see Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, not Detective X and Detective Y

 

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