by Merecedes J. Williams, For New Pittsburgh Courier
After 17 years, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence finally grace us with the third installment of the “Bad Boys” series. The infamous Mike Lowery (Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Lawrence) are still chasing bad guys and causing trouble when an old case resurfaces in “Bad Boys for Life.”
I thought Martin Lawrence’s weight gain and Will Smith’s age were going to be a distraction. And clearly, moviemakers were thinking the same thing. However, instead of covering up their flaws with great makeup and advanced technology, they made it part of the storyline. Genius!
Each “Bad Boys” installment has been consistent with the right balance of comedy, action, and drama. That’s a testament to the on-screen chemistry Smith and Lawrence have built over the years. In my opinion, there’s no better comedy duo in any film series.
The third installment of a film series is difficult to overcome. It establishes whether a movie has longevity and success over an extended time span. A good example of how you can royally destroy a film series is “Home Alone 3” (1997). If Macaulay Culkin, who was 17 at the time, no longer fit the little kid mold, then just let it go. On the other hand, there are great movie series like “Fast and Furious” and “Friday” where the third time really was a charm.
As for “Bad Boys for Life,” it truly delivers in this latest chapter. It is a guaranteed ticket of nostalgia and good entertainment. Many of the stars from the original cast, like Joe Pantoliano and Theresa Randle, have returned, making it that much more enjoyable.
It’s no secret that I am not a fan of two-hour films, but “Bad Boys for Life’s” extended arrangement is well-received. And as for Smith and Lawrence, they both needed this movie. Smith’s most recent box office attempt, “Gemini Man” (2019), was like every other Will Smith movie. Lawrence’s last time in the theater was his long-awaited sequel for “Big Momma’s House.”
Long overdue and heart-warming, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence fans needed “Bad Boys for Life,” too.
The film ends with a cliffhanger to suggest that maybe we won’t have to wait another 17 years for Bad Boys 4. All in all, the movie met every expectation. Father time and a couple extra packed on pounds didn’t take away from this charming film series.