By Jay Betsill
It has been 17 long years since the blockbuster Bad Boys II graced the screens in the summer of 2003 and while rumors of a sequel have been off and on for over a decade, fans of the popular Will Smith-Martin Lawrence action films will undoubtedly be ecstatic that they decided to bring Bad Boys for Life to the big screen.
When we catch up with Miami detectives Mike Lowery (Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Lawrence), Lowery remains a loose cannon who stills drives an expensive sports car — in this case, a Porsche 911 — and Burnett is still wedged between his role as a family man — he recently had his first grandchild — and being Lowery’s partner.
The main differences in our heroes are that ladies man Lowery now has to dye his goatee and Burnett can not see without his glasses.
Familiar faces from the first two entries include Joe Pantoliano returning as Captain Howard while Theresa Randle is back as Marcus’ wife.
Captain Howard still has his hands full with his two detectives while integrating the new tech-savvy Miami P.D. AMMO unit with the old school methods of Lowery and Burnett.
The plot revolves around a woman escaping from a Mexican prison and unleashing her son onto the Miami scene to kill everyone who she deems responsible for the prosecution of her late husband. The hit list, of course, includes Lowery.
The end result is a crowd-pleasing, action-packed homage to the days of R-rated action films from the era of Die Hard, Lethal Weapon and (as you might imagine) the original two Bad Boys films.
Michael Bay directed the first two films with the 1995 Bad Boys being his film debut, and he has passed the torch to Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah to helm this latest version that most certainly delivers the goods in both the explosions and laughter that fans of the series have come to enjoy.
With its opening on the four-day Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, look for big bucks for the $90 million production and while I am not holding my breath after this last 17 years, here’s hoping that this is not the last ride for Smith and Lawrence.
Bad Boys for Life is a movie that should be seen on the big screen, ideally in a Dolby Cinema or IMAX auditorium and if you can get out to see it on opening weekend in a packed theater, all the better as to ride the adrenaline of your fellow “Bad Boys” fans.
BAD BOYS FOR LIFE (Rated R)
Scale of 1-10: 8