"Bad Boys” is a franchise which first debuted on the big screen in 1995 and was followed by the amazing sequel “Bad Boys 2” in 2003 - which made over $273 million in the box office. A sequel had been in development since the success of the second film, but it never came to fruition due to the main stars' reluctance to mess with an already well-developed story. Fast forward years into the future, we finally have "Bad Boys for Life" - and it did not disappoint.
Although the film does not leave off where we first left Marcus and Micheal (“Mike"), it does start off introducing us to what they have been up to in all these years. The opening scene is perfectly done in "Bad Boys" fashion - with a high speed race and a surprising modern touch on the franchise's most iconic moments. Followed by the amazing opening, we are introduced to the main villain of the film - Isabel Aretas, played by Kate Del Castillo - who happens to be an old friend (of sorts) of Mike and will stop at nothing until he is dead.
The film has a great story behind it; it is centered around Marcus wanting to retire after the arrival of his grandson while Mike is hellbent on revenge after being shot and left for dead. He had been shot by Isabel Aretas’s son, who had been pulling most of the weight behind Isabel’s revenge plan.
While the film does an amazing job playing off of the beloved old-school “Bad Boys" dynamics, they also did a great job at adding new characters to the mix, enriching the story to a greater, funnier level. Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig and Charles Melton star in the film as Kelly, Dom and Rafe - all of whom add an extra flare to the film. Charles Melton as Rafe, in particular, had hilarious interactions with Mike. In a film that does so well with showcasing great action, it did equally as well centering on the relationships between both established and new characters, something previously unseen in the franchise.
It is always great to see when a sequel brings back previous characters played by the original actors. For instance, Theresa Randle returned as Theresa Bennett, Marcus’s wife, and Joe Pantoliano returned as Captain Conrad Howard. These and other characters will be sure to elicit a laugh from fans familiar with the previous films.
The best thing about the film was its storytelling and breathtaking action. Although it had been years since we had last seen these actors portray these roles, it honestly felt as though I had just seen the second one the other day. This is due to the actors' ability to tap into the script and the story, adding a new tone of today's age with the old school appeal of the classic.
The film was made even better by its unique and spicy Miami-fueled soundtrack. It also served as a great throwback to 90’s action films.
But for fans hoping to potentially see Gabrielle Union - *SPOILER ALERT* - you unfortunately don’t. However, a fourth film in the franchise is rumored to be in development, and she could potentially appear in that one.
Either way, I'm sure this film will have everyone ready to scream "BAD BOYS FOR LIFE!"
I give this film 5 out of 5 Swoops.