Bad boys: penetrating our souls with their minds

      Photo from Cinemagia

Being bombarded with actual bombs is a definite Bad Boys typical move. This overly action packed movie with a focus on family now more than ever has never looked better. This aspect does not change the obvious lack in originality or the stretched out special effects.In all fairness the special effects give it a cool vibe but ransack the movies’ true essence. It feels as if the modern world has taken over the street smarts Mike and Marcus have and propelled them to the back of the line. Heartfelt interpretations from Will Smith and Martin Lawrence made me rejoyce. However, I couldn’t help but notice the too much technology inclination which serves as an imposition for my taste. Never-aging Will Smith and the ”nervous Nellie” Martin Lawrence make Inner Circles’ Bad Boys song everlasting. They also bring back P. Diddys’ “Bad Boys for life” in a new shape.

The two bad boys who aren’t boys anymore are back and challenged now more than ever. Their tumultuous ”for life” journey hits another snag, but a more personal one from Mike Lowrey’s past. How he deals with this matter shows the profound psychological problems Mike has. Marcus helps him understand normality and tries to shout some of his comedic wisdom in his ear. The basis of this movie seem to be explosions, car chases, gun shootings, carnage and stakeouts. Its’ real substructure is all about the feels: the bad boys can overcome anything together, they are cops, they are brothers, they are bad boys for life.

Photo from IMDB

The action-comedy movie “Bad Boys for Life” was released on the 17th of january, 2020 . Belgian directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah took what was worst from Mike and Marcus. His predisposition to gun shooting all the time and the other ones’  hypersensitivity to growing old and amplified these traits to the max. They also took the essence of Bad Boys and made it ”meaner, toothier” like the Indominus Rex in Jurassic World. Similarly to Jurassic World, Bad Boys 3 is the visually upgraded version with a little less focus on the characters and more on the visual aesthetics, the clarity. Costume designer Dayna Pink did a great job by merging the aesthetically pleasing aspect of the clothes with the modern shooting style. She created a colorful, vibrant Miami P.D. story.

The sarcastic ladies’ man and the overprotective God-fearing pop-pop start the show. In Mikes’ overly priced car to compensate for his other shortcomings , the first line is given by Marcus: “Miiike! What the hell are you doin’?”. Rampaging the beautiful streets of Miami these knuckleheads that have great cop cohesive knowledge are rushing somewhere as in the pursuit of an offender. With their always underlining the obvious ridiculous action patterns that occur whenever they are together, they are rushing to the hospital. Screaming his ass off at Mikes’ obsessive compulsive maneuvers ( driving) they not only have a police escort for Marcus’ personal emergency, they are also racing at high-speed through the city. Although referencing Batman a little too much: “Not even the Batmobile can hold the road like this” and “Joker, you a pop-pop now”, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence made me fondly remember Bad Boys 1 and 2. At the hospital we are given a little reminder of what Mike and Marcus are all about. Marcus starts crying because it’s such a beautiful moment and Mike can’t stand his emotional meltdowns again. In Bad Boys 2, Marcus perfectly stated that his intention is to retire because he is tired  and doesn’t want to continue on this kick-ass, unrestrained  path. In this movie this wish seems more feasible due to Martin Lawrence being a little chubbier than in the previous movies. Here we have a more focused view on life as the dynamic duos’ courses of action are put to test by life itself. The story resembles the previous movies in more than one way. Marcus and Mikes’ unflinching ability to make a great team despite their ferociously different state of minds and the drug cartels. Isabel Aretas (Kate del Castillo), the cold blooded mobster mama, devilishly escapes from jail. Isabels’ son, the young and strapping Armando (Jacob Scipio), comes as an aid in her breakout. Isabel and her son return to Mexico and she keeps inflicting her spiteful revenge on him. In Miami, happily unaware of the upcoming tragedy Marcus celebrates with the police force. Mikes’ “Here we go again” doesn’t begin to describe how many times Marcus has almost retired.

Photo from IMDB

Like many of us, we need a little incentive to be able to actually go through with something, Marcus was about to have his incentive rounded to him. Marcus mocks the way Mike dyes his goatee and calls him a dumbass ( both well suited lines for Martin Lawrences’ blurred out Americanese). The beautiful Rita Secada (Paola Núñez), head of AMMO (Advanced Miami Metro Operations) is introduced. As per usual, Mike and Marcus continue their bromance by challenging each other to a sprint when tragedy strikes. Martin Lawrence, although coming back from retirement hasn’t lost his touch: Marcuses’ most loved trait is his screaming. It is what makes him unique and fun. However, Martin Lawrence gives his character a more quiet side in these scenes. Understandably, he is torn about the unfortunate turn of events. Here is where the badass stops. Marcus prays to God:”I swear to you, I will put no more violence in this world”. Opposed to the other Bad Boys movies this one explores Marcus and Mikes’ human sides: he pours his soul out tearing up. The way Martin Lawrence delivers these lines wakes you up from his and Mikes’ constant bantering. It’s a refreshing new side that urgently prompts the hothead wasteland into thin air. This being one of the reasons  the two Belgian directors’ change of pace was invigorating compared to Michael Bays’ (former director) approach. At AMMO, Rita and her teammates Kelly (Vanessa Hudgens), Dorn (Alexander Ludwig) and Rafe( Charles Melton) try to figure out what happened. There is also an appearence by DJ Khaled as a pork chop salesman for some apparent reason. The High-School Musical, Riverdale and Grown-ups 2 youngsters got nothing on Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. There was no reason for them to be in this movie. As a Bad Boys 1 and Bad Boys 2 lover,call me old fashioned but their involvement in this movie seemed useless, except for them reinforcing the fact that Mike and Marcus are old dogs now, outdated police detectives. The scene in which Vanessa Hudgens explains the instruments which were used to create the tragedy seems like a pulled out scene right from CSI:Miami. However, they are a crucial part of the investigation even if they emphasize the more video game approach to this movie. They might also symbolize the passing of time and that it’s time for the old dogs to step down and let them take the reigns. Marcus tries to change, he tries to become one with his body and soul which pushes him towards a huge resemblance with Captain Howard (Joe Pantoliano) who also needs his fair share of peace and serenity. The following scenes are not to be talked about they are to be enjoyed.

     Photo from IMDB

In terms of composition the beginning and the middle of the movie are great, it’s the ending that lacked that ”je ne sais quoi” entirely. It was almost inadmissible. The acting of the leopard print, vindictful shrew (portrayed by) Kate del Castillo is almost unwatchable not only here but throughout the movie. She gives the feeling of watching a telenovela, and the swirling around of the camera got me dizzy.

Photo from IMDB

This unexpected movie with unexpected turn of events, was a breath of fresh air, even with its’ disappointing ending. It is an all consuming, thought-provoking movie which gives you a taste of police life, police work and ruthless murders as well as the joy of becoming a grandfather, choosing what your legacy will be and the friendship that you should treasure forever. I would  frame this movie in between Bad Boys 1 and Bad Boys 2 as it is an attempt of a combination between the two. If not for Martin Lawrence and Will Smith, the movie would seem like a bland video game walkthrough using drone like footage with a lot of contrasted establishing shots of Miami locations. It perfectly and coherently shows the positive magnetic charge between the reckless, short-fused detective and the zen, bubbly eyed, prone to puking in expensive cars, family man, Martin Lawrence.