Bad Boys for Life: All good things come in threes

The action film “Bad Boys – Harte Jungs” was released in 1995, 25 years ago. “Bad Boys II” followed in 2003. After 17 years, Hollywood stars Will Smith (51) and Martin Lawrence (54) are now back. For the third time they slip into their alter egos, the cops Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett, in “Bad Boys for Life”. The films have cult status and part one is considered a catalyst for Smith’s cinema career. Lawrence recently said on US television that Smith had delayed filming for years until the script for part three was perfect. Was the effort worth it?

That’s what the “Bad Boys” expect in part three

Mike (Smith) and Marcus (Lawrence) are still active as detectives in Miami. It’s going well for the two. But then a criminal (Kate del Castillo) breaks out of jail and sends her son (Jacob Scipio) on a vengeance. Mike should also bless the temporal. This is how he gets away with life while other law enforcement officers die. Thereupon Marcus actually retires, which causes the “bad boys” to drift apart. Mike wants to find out who wanted his death at all costs.

His ex-flame Rita (Paola Nunez) and her young team are supposed to help him. Not an easy task, since the methods of Rita and her team do not coincide with those of Mike. It happens as it must: Marcus cannot escape the investigation and learns a well-kept secret from Mike’s past. The big showdown in Mexico takes place according to the well-known motto: “We stand together, we fall together! Bad boys forever!”

Deamteam Will Smith and Martin Lawrence?

“Bad Boys for Life” reunites Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in front of the camera after 17 years. It seems like nothing has changed. Smith’s alter ego Mike continues to love his freedom, fast cars and cool clothes. He has not entered into a firm bond since the second part. In one sentence, it is clarified in passing what happened from Smith’s liaison with Gabrielle Union (47), who played the sister of Martin Lawrence’s character Marcus in “Bad Boys II”. Marcus, on the other hand, is still a family man through and through and, of course, wants to retire.

The chemistry between Smith and Lawrence, of which the first two parts live, is no longer so convincing. They still argue like an old couple, but somehow they lost their pep. They chew on the tried and tested, which makes the jokes redundant and predictable. Little seems to be left of the “tough guys”. They keep on shooting around the area, rushing through the streets of Miami with crazy stunts, beating bad boys and letting some things go up in the air. But part three is nowhere near the first two films by Michael Bay (54).

The nostalgia factor cannot really score either, even when numerous familiar faces appear. In addition, this time scenes with meaningful music are increasingly accompanied, which seems a bit out of place. Where hot beats, hard-hitting action and cheeky sayings used to score, now much seems too wanted, posed and sometimes even a little cramped. The “Bad Boys” are getting on in years and act more like “Good Guys”, even if Will Smith tries to prove the opposite.

Vanessa Hudgens (31, “High School Musical”), Alexander Ludwig (27, “Vikings”) and Charles Melton (29, “Riverdale”) bring a breath of fresh air. The young actors show the “Bad Boys” how the rabbit runs – when it comes to equipment and technology. The dynamics are right here. Ludwig is particularly surprising. The tall Canadian initially appears shy and only at the end shows what he really is.


With “Bad Boys for Life” Will Smith and Martin Lawrence did not make the big coup. Maybe 17 years was too long a break and the tough action time of the two is simply over. It is an entertaining pastime, especially for fans of Smith. A third part of a series, which could be assigned to the category of nice to look at, but you wouldn’t have needed it.

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