Bad Boys for Life (Adil El Arbi [as Adil], Bilall Fallah [as Bilall], 2020) Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens, Paola Nuñez, Kate del Castillo, Joe Pantoliano
I'm not in the target audience for this type of high-speed, fast action, expensive destruction, kung-fuey, cop buddy, crime, OTT movie, so it's not surprising I hadn't even heard of the preceding two films in the 'franchise': Bad Boys, and Bad Boys II.
This one is entertaining, if you try not to think about the c. US$90m it cost to make, and what else could be done in the world with that amount of money rather than spend it on amusing American adolescents (and other such would-bes) for a couple of hours.
Will Smith does what he has to do (including getting killed in the first ten minutes - yeh right) and Martin Lawrence is genuinely funny (in a Stepin Fetchit kind of way) for ... maybe fifteen minutes - but not for over two hours. Having said that: I did actually laugh out loud right near the end, when the two buddies are busy killing bad guys one by one in the final grand-opera scene. Will tells Martin to put his glasses on. He does so, and says,'It's like HD!' ... Well, in that context, it was such a silly thing to say ...
The key villainess I thought was very convincing as a Mexican witch, and so was her son, who turns out to be ... whoops! ... And I always enjoy the work of Joe Pantoliano.
Wikipedia says this was the highest-grossing film of 2020 so far - which I find quite amazing, and even disturbing, when it's basically just waste on a grand scale. I guess that's what entertainment has become in this decadent century.
Courtesy of Wikipedia:
IndieWire said reviews for Bad Boys for Life were "mostly positive". The review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 77% based on 244 reviews, and an average rating of 6.2/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "Loaded up with action and a double helping of leading-man charisma, Bad Boys for Life reinvigorates this long-dormant franchise by playing squarely to its strengths." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 59 out of 100, based on 45 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale, equivalent to the first two films. PostTrak reported an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, with 73% of respondents saying they would definitely recommend it.
Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter wrote that "the third time really is the charm" and said: "The two directors roll with ease between raucous comedy and raw drama, to considerable effect, just as they crank up the tension on any number of occasions, occasionally with palpably visceral impact." David Ehrlich of IndieWire gave the film a "B" grade, calling it a "fun, explosive, and even thoughtful action movie" and wrote: "Bad Boys for Life doesn't aim to raise the bar on its genre or rewrite the blockbuster rulebook, but it's a blast watching Lawrence and Smith revisit these characters and find a sensible place for them in the current Hollywood landscape."
Garry Gillard | reviews | New: 27 February, 2020 | Now: 28 February, 2020