'Bad Boys for Life'
(R / 123 mins)
Overview: The Bad Boys Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) are back together for one last ride in the highly anticipated 'Bad Boys for Life.'
Verdict: A disappointingly underwhelming sequel, 'Bad Boys for Life' follows Will Smith’s Mike Lowrey and Martin Lawrence’s Marcus Burnett as they’re faced with a fearsome villain from Mike’s distant past – with the partners reluctantly forced to accept the help of several up-and-coming cops (including Charles Melton’s Rafe and Vanessa Hudgens’ Kelly).
There’s little doubt that 'Bad Boys for Life' fares best in its quick-moving and impressively entertaining opening stretch, as filmmakers Adil and Bilall effectively highlight the somewhat irresistible chemistry between Smith and Lawrence’s respective characters – with the watchable vibe certainly heightened by the actors’ typically charismatic work (in truth, Smith is more affable and commanding here than he’s been in quite some time).
It’s disappointing to note, then, that 'Bad Boys for Life' does begin to slowly-but-surely wear out its welcome, with the most obvious culprit for the picture’s downfall Adil and Bilall’s inability to offer up a single compelling action sequence (ie: every high-octane moment suffers from that Michael Bay-like sheen of intolerable slickness).
The viewer’s growing disinterest in all of this results in a palpable lull in the buildup to the climax, and it goes without saying, too, that the loud, frenetic third act is nothing short of interminable – which ultimately does cement 'Bad Boys for Life’s place as just another terminally uninvolving contemporary actioner.