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17 years on from Bad Boys 2, original director Michael Bay is out (but he does get a pretty neat cameo), Mike Lowry (Will Smith) is still in, but Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence), now a grandfather, wants to retire. It’s all very Lethal Weapon, but unfortunately it’s Lethal Weapon 4. When a mysterious assassin (Jacob Scipio) starts whacking everyone involved in putting away a Mexican cartel boss back in the day, Mike is last on the hit list, meaning Marcus’s retirement is short lived due to that whole ride together, die together thing.
Bad Boys for Life has been getting good notices but man, I am not seeing what everyone else is. The whole exercise seems lazy and uninspired to me, and even the action mounted by new directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah is unimpressive compared to the lunacy of Bay’s efforts. The plot reveals seem unearned, as do a lot of the character connections; Mike gets an ex-girlfriend “one who got away” (Paola Núñez) that we’ve never seen before, and the 17 year gap in sequels means it’s just kind of weird seeing the former young bloods as old dogs teaching a new crew of hip cops How It’s Done. The best I can call it is passable – it scratches the action itch but does nothing new stylistically or thematically.