Bad Boys for Life: A Breath of Fresh Air in the January Dumping Ground

Reem Abouchleih, Scarlet Staff


Mike Lowry’s metallic blue Porsche 992 S comes to a screeching halt. 

“Get me the f**k out of this car!” Marcus Burnett proclaims, resisting the urge to vomit. 

The opening scene of Bad Boys for Life has got my heart racing, breathing staggering and blood pressure rising; it’s only the first car chase of many. Detectives Mike Lowry (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) are back at it again for the third edition of the “Bad Boys” series. With seventeen years separating the last installment and new movie, “Bad Boys for Life ” had to satisfy the series’ cult following. Even a few minutes into the film, it is apparent that directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah won’t give viewers a break from watching the screen with constant fighting sequence and drive-bys, witty remarks, and emotionally-moving scenes. 

Miami is the perfect setting for “Bad Boys” – bold, colorful, and loud. Zway-Lo’s birthday party at the club marks one of the movie’s biggest strengths; it is a larger-than-life scene, with the over-the-top lighting and soundtrack, followed by an explosive fight scene. In most action movies, the fight scenes seem pointless – trying to seem cool for the sake of looking cool. However, in “Bad Boys,” the fight scenes lead somewhere, they mean something in the larger context in the movie. Though I won’t deny a portion of the excessively extensive $90 million budget goes to badass (but unneeded) effects, the fight scenes only further the plot. 

Another major strength of “Bad Boys” is the chemistry between characters, most notably between Lawrence and Smith’s characters. Considering that this is their third movie together, it’s no surprise the two have forged their own friendship. Though the two cops fight almost constantly, you can tell they care about each others’ well-being. In countless action movies, the dialogue flows unnaturally and almost as if the characters anticipate what is going to happen. “Bad Boys For Life” stays true to how people in the real world talk. 

Despite the aforementioned amazing qualities, I must admit that “Bad Boys For Life” would not be popular without the names of its stars. In this case, I would consider the movie a hidden gem. Though I loved watching the movie, it was not innovative. I can’t imagine it being listed as a classic and iconic cop movie like “Seven,” “The Departed,” or “Lethal Weapon.” 

“Bad Boys for Life” marks January box office release history. January is known as the dumping grounds for bad movies, with this year’s releases including  “Dolittle,” “Like a Boss,” “The Grudge,” and “The Turning”. “Bad Boys for Life” defied all odds, grossing a $230 million worldwide. I am happy to say “Bad Boys” was the first January release to win big at the box office. 

The saga doesn’t end there, as it seems that there is a fourth “Bad Boys” movie in the works. To further prove the theory, in the post-credit scene, Mike talks to his son, Armando from a jail cell and asks him about the Aretas cartel. Will the foundations of the drug operation be the subject of a possible fourth movie? I hope not. Audiences have learned everything they need to about the Aretas family from the third installment. This would only make the franchise feel like a repetitive cash grab. But if a fourth movie were to happen, I hope to see new star power for the new cast.