The last few years have been quite turbulent on several levels, and our minds are looking for the way they can to process it without breaking in the process. For some it is not uncommon to find that the last two years end up folded and mixed in the mental ordereliminating things that happened immediately before the outbreak of the pandemic.
That’s why it can happen to you like me, that suddenly I see the box office tops of some years, I see the one of 2020 and I say “Oh, yes, this was released that year”. and we can be talking about blockbuster movies, although they are even more buoyed by the desert that was that first pandemic year. It is difficult to know if, if it had developed naturally (with Marvel movies, ‘Dune’ and other phenomena planned that year), a film like ‘Bad Boys for Life’ would be among the top.
The film, available on Amazon Prime Video, was the umpteenth attempt to revive a recognizable franchise to compensate for the lack of commitment to original material, bringing back Martin Lawrence and a Will Smith in need of reconnecting with the public (although that commercial crisis is nothing compared to the one it currently has). He does it, too, following some schematic tendencies of current Hollywood.
Given the apparent indifference of Michael Bay, director of the previous successful installments, this third fell to the director couple Bilall Fallah and Adil El Arbi, efficient day laborers in Hollywood who have also fallen for projects like ‘Ms. Marvel’ or the canceled ‘Batgirl’. the class of directors who have no problem getting a job in the current systemsince they deliver just what their bosses expect and they do it on time and without cost overruns or unexpected shocks.
That makes them both compliant and inconspicuous. And there’s a lot of that in ‘Bad Boys for Life’, a movie enchanted to play the hits, adapt them a bit to give a sense of growth and “maturity” linked to their older stars, and make an action that complies. It is difficult to have any sequence that really stays with you (perhaps the one with the sidecar motorcycle chase?), a notable difference with Bay’s films, that even in the first one, which was his commercial debut, he managed to leave a moment with personality .
‘Bad Boys for Life’: uncomplicated
But this is not why it is a negligible film. It certainly offers more fun and competition than other blatant attempts to exploit intellectual properties, or even other blockbusters with franchise intentions. His key, of course, lies in knowing how to match Smith and Lawrence, who they recover their dynamic as if time had not passed. The twilight air that they seek to give their characters manages to marry their joker chemistry, which peppers everything from the action scenes to the plot exposition.
It could be said that it does not give more game than that. That the plots they develop, especially that of Smith’s character, are somewhat flimsy and capricious. But it is not that it mattered too much in the previous ones, so it would be a somewhat unnecessary reproach at this point. It is difficult to know if a fourth film that continues the schemes of this one will continue, with all the scandal surrounding its star still hot, but surely they do not lack the desire to try to test the waters after this one was one of the hits of 2020 -even if it was due to the circumstances-.