[Review] Bad Boy for Life: a meeting between two generations


At a time when the darkrooms are flooded with Disney-branded products, Bad Boys for Life is an exception. In production, Jerry Bruckheimer behind the biggest box office success between the 80s and 2000s (Top Gun, Pearl Harbor, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Beverly Hills Cop …) the revival of the big film franchise, Bad Boys seems the ideal candidate for a new work, 17 years after the second. But is playing with nostalgia a guarantee of quality?

Expected: Bad Boys for Life plays the cards of opposition between the old generation, embodied by Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, and the newcomers to the police force – Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig from Vikings or even Charles Melton from Riverdale. A fast-paced young man uses new technology to track down criminals (hacking, drones, etc.) unlike the cult duo who prefer to play it “old fashioned” – what they mean is rushing into the pile and shooting anything that moves.

Bad Boys for Life love to have Will Smith with a gray beard, ridiculed for his now lagging reflexes, and Martin Lawrence preferring his family life over risky intervention. The former will propel the others on a final suicide mission against one of the most dangerous villains, himself embodied by a young actor far tougher than the two protagonists.

A chance for a Jerry Bruckheimer clash where all the pretexts are good for a confrontation that pushes the boundaries of reality – every bullet fired by a gun can cause a car to explode. And in its action scenes, Bad Boys for life is presented at its most exhilarating: a long and skillful choreographed pursuit and a generous film with a budget of 90 million dollars. Get out of costumes of superheroes and other intergalactic warriors crouched in dark rooms. Here, it is rather large tattooed arms, weapons, trained officers, bulletproof vests and a battle between the two valves. In the midst of this fun clash, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence swear like a charter, one of the hallmarks of the franchise.

A slightly cheesy movie in the background
Despite his undeniable quality and generosity in directing, it’s impossible not to see Bad Boys for Life as a slightly cheesy film. Through the somewhat dubious morality of religion in the first part, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence seem stuck in the years 90-2000. A selection of music from another time, humor is often collected, costumes flashy … Bad Boys for Life gives the impression of decades behind. Even when the film revolves around a new generation, the prism of this youth team is outdated.

The little genius will search for information about … 4chan, and can find the suspect’s entire life by quickly tapping the supercomputer keyboard that displays a line of code. But as strange as it may seem, it’s no doubt this orthodoxy is what gives this film its “cool” side. Never too serious, always soulful and honest in his approach, Jerry Bruckheimer expresses his nostalgia for a cinema long lost between green funds, empty CGI, connected universes, fan service, and a clean, calibrated but devoid of production. ‘any cinematography. Granted, a lifetime of Bad Boys isn’t the smoothest… but what could be less subtle than an episode of Bad Boys?

Fun ending
After a soft underbelly leading up to half of the feature film, Bad Boys for Life decided to spread all the grand-guignolesque in a final act in Mexico — after revelations wobbled, like hair in soup. Helicopters, gunfire, thugs, explosions… Will Smith and Martin Lawrence team up with a new generation, initially rejected, to fulfill this ultimate mission. The “family” spirit infused into feature films, like the last Fast & Furious, relies entirely on these good feeling cards. And while Bad Boys for Life reveled in the age of its protagonist, now in his fifties, the screenplay offered an open epilogue to audiences and the promise of new work.

The engine is running again. Off the radar for more than ten years, Jerry Bruckheimer seems to be announcing the return of his films with claws so recognizable that fans miss him. Not without reason Michael Bay made a cameo in Bad Boys for Life. And regardless of the age of the hero, the producers accepted this new generation of actors and characters. Undoubtedly a future commercial success, Bad Boys for Life could represent the long-awaited salvation of Will Smith, who has chained disappointments and failures for several years – despite laudable efforts, such as Gemini Man of Ang Lee. Now on YouTube with over 7 million subscribers, the actor is stepping up his quest to return as a sfigure out “cool” action films, a genre that would contribute to his fame for a while.