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Yasmeen Mamdouh
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Bad Boys for Life: Still Bad?‎

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Bringing back older films seems to be a trend, but it doesn’t always work. Can the new Bad Boys film prove the boys are still bad 17 years later?

Bad Boys for Life follows partner ‎narcotics detectives Mike Lowery (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) as they are forced to face their own mortality as cops, dealing with the fact that they are getting older. While Mike dismisses that notion entirely and revels in his flashy life where his high is catching bad guys, Marcus wants to retire and enjoy his future with his family, including his new-born grandson. When “bulletproof” Lowery, as well as several cops, are targeted by a ruthless cartel leader (Jacob Scipio), the partners team up one last time to catch the killer.

If you are a fan of the Bad Boys movies, a new film is terrific news as long as it maintains the dynamic between Mike and Marcus, and rest assured, the harmony is still there. With Marcus channelling the “I’m too old for this” attitude, the ageing aspect even adds logic and realism to the winning dynamic. Seeing Mike fighting his ageing and Marcus teasing him about it also brings on so much laughter. There is also plenty of the nostalgic car rides, in which Mike is recklessly speeding while Marcus, scared for his life, is retorting funny lines.

Speaking of which, the funny lines continuously target the ageing characters, which is so refreshing. It’s unusual to see an action film admitting that their characters are getting old, instead of trying to pass off an 80-year-old actor as an invincible hunk, with a love interest who is young enough to be his granddaughter.

The action is only okay, with some of it being too ridiculous or even not making sense, such as a birthday party raid with no one guarding the door, and so it leads to nothing and seems pointless. However, the action gets better all the way to the final showdown, which is much more thorough and impressive.

For the acting, Will Smith proves that you can be 50 years old and look great with his cool suits and sunglasses and his slick action moves. Smith also gives his character the depth of desperately holding on to his youth and how much he loves his partner. Martin Lawrence is a laughter machine with his facial expressions; whether he is about to vomit in a car ride, or he is so thrilled to pull up his feet on a lazy boy chair. Every time Lawrence is on the screen, you know it is going to be good, and you want to savour every bit of his performance. Jacob is only okay, overshadowed by Kate del Castillo playing a witch of a mother very hauntingly. Playing Mike’s love interest Rita, Paola Núñez also gives a mediocre performance.

Definitely a must-watch for Bad Boys fans, despite its issues. If you are not a fan, you are missing out.

Like This? Try

Bad Boys (1995), Rush Hour 2 (2001) & Bad Boys II (2003).

360 Tip

Spoiler Alert: If you are a fan of the previous films, you will be so mad about who dies, and even more so about how quickly and inadequately it is dealt with.

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