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The Bad Boys Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett are back together for one last ride in the highly anticipated Bad Boys for Life.

Cast:  Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Joe Pantoliano, Paola Núñez, Kate del Castillo, Jacob Scipio, Alexander Ludwig, Vanessa Hudgens, Charles Melton, Nicky Jam

Directors: Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah
Writers: Chris Bremner (screenplay), Peter Craig (story and screenplay), Joe Carnahan (story and screenplay), George Gallo (based on characters by)

It’s somehow nearly been two decades since a Bad Boys film. The second film released in 2003 to mixed reviews, but as far as my High School friends as critics went – they certainly loved it. Bad Boys II was highly quotable and even myself, an average fan of the early films, still quotes “woosah, woosah” in moments of stress. Bad Boys for Life reunites Will Smith & Martin Lawrence as Detective Mike Lowrey and Detective Marcus Burnett with many references to fans most loved moments from Bad Boys II, but also a story that is much more mature and interesting than the previous two films. 

The first two films had director Michael Bay behind the camera which leads to his stylistic bombardment of slow-motion shots and people walking away from explosions. Bad Boys for Life has the team of Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah taking the franchises reigns with a script from Chris BremnerPeter Craig and Joe Carnahan. The wealth of fresh blood in the franchise is felt throughout the film as it manages to hit the right amount of call-backs and also build a new story for these characters with action set-pieces that aren’t as flashy as Bay‘s work but still a thrill to watch. 

The story starts once again with Marcus threatening Mike with retirement, but that threat soon becomes a reality as someone attempts to assassinate Mike early in the film. Of course, Mike is unwillingly to let an assassination attempt slide, or the new unit assigned to his case take down his would-be-killer, so it’s “bad boys, one last time” as Mike and Marcus set-out to solve their final and most personal case. 

In many ways the films first act is lulling you into the Bad Boys world again with recognisable dialogue and even camera swoops out of the Michael Bay school of shooting action films. It takes a turn eventually and the film slows down as it gives the characters much needed moments of rest and to just talk to one another as humans without all the melodramatic or comedic one-liners. 

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence slide right back into their roles as if it’s only been two years, not seventeen since they last played these characters and their banter is still hilarious and fast-paced. The accompanying cast of young and fresh faces in the Police Force is great with Vanessa Hudgens being a standout alongside Paola Núñez. The antagonist team of Kate del Castillo and Jacob Scipio may seem very bland as Isabel and Armando, bad-guys with a simple plan, but as the story unfolds both become much more interesting. 

Bad Boys for Life is easily the best Bad Boys film we’ve got so far. It loses some of the more flashy elements of the previous films for a more mature script and a more interesting story that has me wanting to see another film in the franchise. Go ahead, do one more, you’ve earned it. Bad Boys for life.