Bad Boys For Life: Review (Spoilers)

“Marcus and Mike have to confront new issues (career changes and midlife crises), as they join the newly created elite team AMMO of the Miami police department to take down the ruthless Armando Armas, the vicious leader of a Miami drug cartel.” – IMDB.com

Bad Boys For Life is a fun filled romp through L.A. it’s story is expertly structured and the multiple layers and stories throughout this film shine structurally however, too much structure can be a bad thing too. Will Smith, Martin lawrence and friends struggle to sell their one dimensional characters in this installment about getting older.

Bad Boys For Life is the afterthought story of a two time popular buddy cop series starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.

Martin Lawrence plays the comedic relief well and is given expertly written lines like “aaaaaaahhhh!!!” and “oooooooooooh!” and “Oh F**k” and “Oh sh**it!

Will Smith is a multilayered actor and he’s proven his mettle several times yet his character in this installment suffered because of his generic dialogue

Still this film presented a solid structure of arcs and sub arcs like: Will Smith becoming ok with Martins retirement, becoming cool with the AMMO team members, and his romance with one of the AMMO team members – which was very weak as Will’s character didn’t progress from bickering to flatly delivered flirtations until the final seconds of the film.

The major arc for the film was all about Will’s need to keep working on the force “until the wheels fall off” as he put it in the film and his arc is about a single bachelor who found out he had a son.

The tone of this film felt wobbly from start to finish. each scene was a swing from funny and exciting to sad and depressing and back again. Some of the scenes felt ‘forced’ to present a certain way using strong tonal music to emphasize a sad moment or a victorious moment. The payoff was it felt too “branded” the emotions presented in certain scenes on screen were almost screamed like a overzealous radio host reading ad copy.

This film as whole is definitely well put together and full-bodied. There were enough scenes with each of the characters to show their development. Mike and Marcus were developed in clever ways by using one liner dialogue. Mike (Smith) showed his character in compact ways. His character mirrors a textbook bachelor type character. And his depth just isn’t there He’s violent, ruluctant to settle down, and eager to increase his vanity. For example the scene with Martin and Lawrence in the AMMO HQ referencing some experience they had a long time ago that turned into a joke. This is a long dead cliche that’s used by daytime TV sitcoms. Bad Boys 1 & 2 shined because of the humanistic qualities of Martin & Will and their partnership. The newest installment emphasizes gun violemce and body counts. Instead of showing the qualities of well fleshed out characters. Will is a brute who kills bad guys. The guys friendship is defined by a one note conflict of life directions. Will wants to keep being a legend on the force and Martin wants to live the retired life.

I liked how the story was told. I like how there were still scenes of Martin doing things that pissed off his wife. Will didn’t really have any scenes that fleshed out his character outside of one liner tough guy dialogue. ” I’m bullet proof!!!!”

The motif of this film was definitely buddy cop film but with a twist. The character conflict reminds me of the film Let’s Be Cops except the characters are older. I’ll be honest I haven’t seen the first two Bad Boys flicks in a few years, but I do not remember the emphasis of those stories being on guns and shooting. The gore and effects in this movie were definitely pushed to a next level. The directors seemed to love to show the carnage of people getting shot, cut, impaled, and punched with a sickening level of detail. I’ll admit the gore just didn’t fit despite the R rating

The patterns of production in this film were drone shots. Lots and lots of drone shots in addition to bloody gore scenes.

Overall – This film was not meant to push the boundaries of cinema however, it’s creators defintily have mettle in story telling and this film shows that with a strong web of intertwining arcs, and themes that were expertly sewed up by the end of the film.

Popcorn Movie | 7/10 | Great Structure and plot, Weak dialogue, The focus was on the wrong elements that made Bad Boys Good.

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