Film: "Bad Boys for Life"; Actors: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Alexander Ludwig, Charles Melton, Paola Nunez, Kate Del Castillo, Nicky Jam, Joe Pantoliano, Theresa Randle, Bianca Bethune and Jacob Scipio; Directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah; Rating: ** (two stars)
"Bad Boys For Life" is the third edition of the franchise that started in 1995.
This film is shot in real time, 17 years after the events of the previous film, with almost all of the cast, which is wonderful. A new team will also be introduced that gives the character of the protagonists a dimension with the Family and Friend Track. These new aspects in turn contribute to an emotional weighting of the viewing experience.
In this issue, Miami detectives Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence), both in their fifties, are fighting against time to not arrest a criminal but to meet Marcus' just-born grandchildren.
When he realizes how quickly time flies, Marcus plans to withdraw from the fast-paced life of a police officer, but Mike, who still has the stamina, refuses to hang up his boots.
And while they're discussing retirement, a Mexican assassin, Armando (Jacob Scipio), son of psychopathic cartel leader Isabel Aretas (Kate del Castillo), hits Mike in the stomach.
The investigation soon overturns a vengeance conspiracy in which Mike finds the hunt for the Aretas family, although Captain Howard (Joe Pantoliano) disagrees, reluctantly allowing him to deal with the high-tech group Advanced Miami Metro Operations (AMMO ) of enthusiastic Kelly (Vanessa Hudgens), complacent Rafe (Charles Melton) and nerdy Beefcake Dom (Alexander Ludwig), all under the command of Rita (Paola Nunez). Marcus will help soon.
On the performance side, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence share the same charisma and chemistry as in the past two decades, but they rarely hide their boredom with the material. They actually go through their performances and resemble glorified stereotypes.
The four members of AMMO have positioned themselves clearly to serve as the basis for reinventing this franchise in the style of a Fast & Furious ensemble. But it is Jacob Scipio and Kate del Castillo as a mother-son duo that give their characters intrigue and excitement.
The film is full of high-octane action sequences, including fights, chases, shootings and helicopter crashes. It's not extraordinary in any way, but a special mention is a must for editors Dan Lebental and Peter McNulty to maintain continuity throughout the action and emotional scenes and to make the film appear creative and spectacular.
Overall, this film is a timepass crowd puller.