Eppler: Smith, Lawrence 'Bad Boys' reunion worth the wait - FOX34 Lubbock

Eppler: Smith, Lawrence 'Bad Boys' reunion worth the wait

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When "Bad Boys" came out 25 years ago, it helped launch the movie careers of then TV stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. This was before "Independence Day," "Men in Black," and um, "Big Momma's House." The buddy cop formula so popular in the 80s and 90s worked perfectly for them, and they were great together in it. The sequel eight years later, "Bad Boys II," remains a shocking exercise in glut, bad taste and disregard for decency and humanity that I kinda love.

Now, 17 years later, Smith and Lawrence are back at it and they make it look easy. Fortunately, "Bad Boys for Life" hues more closely to the original in its approach and it feels more mature with our dudes reckoning with being the analogue guys in a digital world - forced to work with a group of tech-savvy youngsters. 
The story actually has some surprises - some that work and some that feel cheesy. The action set pieces are a lot of fun unless you're one of the many bystanders that surely get shot, injured or just terrified during these frantic police chases. 
The action fireworks aside, the real spark is between Smith and Lawrence working off a script with some genuine laughs. 
"Bad Boys for Life" works really well and can even stand on its own without seeing the other two. But if the next one isn't a crossover with the "Fast and Furious" movies, they just don't wanna make a billion dollars. 


* * * * * Incredible - One of the best of the year
* * * * Excellent - Touches greatness with only minor quibbles
* * * Good - Plenty to like, definitely worth seeing
* * Mediocre - You can do better
* Awful - The worst, an insult to movies

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