Movie Point Of Lou – Bad Boys For Life (Spoiler Free)
Ah the Buddy Cop Movie, a true staple of Hollywood filmmaking for decades. Much like the Rom-Com, or Superhero film, they are the “comfort food” of the silver screen. Going in you know what you are getting: Humor, Gunfights, Explosions, and quotes that you will be reciting for years. On all these fronts “Bad Boys For Life” succeeds. But what it also does is throw some pretty heavy swerves at you, and adds a huge dose of heart to the proceedings.
The movie succeeds on all fronts in taking the audience through some fantastic action sequences, but where the “plot” in the previous two iterations served solely as a paper thin narrative to move you from one gunfight to the next, in “Bad Boys For Life” it’s in these quieter moments that the movie actually shines. Dealing with life, death, family, regret, and the effect all of these have on us as people isn’t something that I would have necessarily thought would work, but oddly it does. Perhaps no single line in the movie encapsulates this more than a heartfelt yet humorous moment when (Martin Lawrence’s) Marcus Burnett turns to (Will Smith’s) Mike Lowry and says “We’ve got more days behind us than in front of us.” At that moment you can visibly see the toll that Marcus and Mike’s lifetime of decisions have taken on them, and it is the exploration of these life choices through the lens of a humor that only a well seasoned cast can handle that keeps the movie from screeching to a halt.
Speaking of action sequences, there are PLENTY of them, and they are all filmed to perfection. From a fist fight with a coked up accountant, to full on gun battles, and the absolutely mandatory car chase’s through the streets of Miami (the opening car chase ends in a particularly humorous way), there is no shortage of lead flying during the course of the film as you would expect from any Jerry Bruckheimer produced movie. And while I’m thinking of it, special shout out to Vanessa Hudgens, she absolutely KICKED ASS in this movie, and honestly I didn’t even realize it was her until I looked up the cast afterwards. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised as she was also fantastic in “Sucker Punch” but still… There was a scene (I don’t know if you consider this a spoiler so beware) where she slides on the ground and barrel stuffs an M4 into generic bad guy 3,267 and pulls the trigger, and man oh man I almost jumped out of my seat it looked so cool!!!!
My issues with the movie are minor, (and I have to be careful how I say things as I’m trying to avoid spoilers) First, the movie dragged a bit, while the 2 hour run time wasn’t excessive, I thought they could have trimmed out a bit of fat to streamline it. Second, I also had an issue with the movies “big reveal / twist” and my issue is this: It really served no purpose and quite frankly seemed really out of place. The movie could have played out EXACTLY the same had they not done it and would have been just as good. BUT a LARGE caveat: If the stinger AFTER the movie ends comes to pass, the reveal WILL work in the larger framework of the series, so I will have to see where they plan to go from here, if anywhere at all, but judging by the reviews, and the money that the film is making you can almost guarantee another one.
While Bad Boys For Life doesn’t reinvent the wheel, at the end of the day it really didn’t have to. While it’s certainly more mature in it’s themes than it’s previous iterations, it’s that maturity that helps to sell what would otherwise be a by the numbers sequel. So go into it like this: do you like Bad Boys 1 and 2? then there is no reason why you won’t like this one. Go get yourself a large popcorn, sit your butt in the seat, watch the damn movie, and have fun doing it. It’s not Citizen Kane, but it doesn’t need to be either.
Until Next Time Everyone,
Be Good To Your Fellow Nerd,