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Bad Boys For Life

I thought the trailers looked ridiculous and unfunny. Martin Lawrence looked tired, the gags seemed stale. I've been predicting for months that BAD BOYS FOR LIFE would be a disaster and bomb. WOW was I wrong!

Whoever assembled the trailers should be fired.

One of the funniest, most enjoyable action thrillers I've seen in a very long time, this is one hell of a ride.

Will Smith is Detective Mike Lowrey, hanging onto his youth and pretending he hasn't aged after many years of taking down Miami criminals.

Martin Lawrence is longtime partner Marcus, weeping at the birth of his first grandchild and done with the life endangering action.

The ying and yang of their two personalities is probably the best its been in the series, with Lawrence perfectly dropping every punch line, observation and put down. I laughed a LOT.

But what I didn't expect is a story that also grounded the heroics and laughter in some powerful dramatic scenes. I'll give those trailer creators small kudos for not revealing any of the key, very unexpected plot points that drive the story.

I had not heard of new director duo Adil & Bilall. but they absolutely nail an intoxicating blend of tribute and parody of Michael Bay's bigger-than-life chase scenes, sweeping camera and mega explosions. You know exactly what they're doing in sending up Bay, but its done so well, it delivers all the thrills without the patented pretentious sheen that smothers Bay's films.

Smith is having a blast and gets a real chance to act along with the action, it serves him well.

Kate del Castillo is a kickass evil villain and Jacob Scipio has a star turn as her lethal assassin son. They're on a quest for revenge against everyone on the right side of the law that took down their drug ring two decades before.

Joe Pantoliano is back as their long suffering police captain, still swilling Pepto Bismol after their antics. The new team of young cyber analyst/SWAT team are all great, creating plenty of opportunities to make fun of the aging Mike & Marcus.

If you're a fan of the series chases, they deliver a couple impressive ones here, including a long car, motorcycle, side car, semi, helicopter pursuit here that's as funny as it is exciting.

The conclusion in the overgrown ruins of a luxury resort in Mexico combines great staging and a spectacular set for huge scale action.

The music score by Lorne Balfe (The Dark Knight) is excellent, as are the songs that punch up the South Beach settings.

It's rare that a third film in a series is this much better than the first two, especially coming 17 years (!) after the last installment.

Whatever magic happened in the long fermentation of this installment, it pours out big laughs, big heart and enough action for three sequels.

BAD BOYS FOR LIFE indeed! Shockingly, it gets an A+! What a blast.

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