Mike and Marcus’ constant bickering in the first two movies often made it hard to believe that they were friends at all—simply partners with a constant resentment towards each other. But here, their relationship has more weight and you see the strength of their bond. They bicker a bunch (and it’s always entertaining), but the film contrasts that with the more emotional aspects of their friendship and they actually feel like they have a relationship outside of just being partners.
Some of the dialogue is a bit loose and overwrought, even when the jokes aren’t flying, and it’s easy to check out here or there within a given scene, but the action surrounding it is enough to distract us from most, if not all of this movie’s faults.
The filmmakers may not be utilizing highbrow lighting or shadowing techniques, but Bad Boys For Life has about as good of cinematography as you can get in an action movie. The camera work by DP Robrecht Heyvaert is deceptively stunning and makes every scene pop.
17 years is a pretty long time between sequels, but credit Adil & Bilall for making fans want to know what happened during those years while also filling us in when necessary. You can tell the directors studied, if not grew up with, the originals, plopping in a few nods and references that don’t feel shoehorned. The previous sequel came along when action films weren’t quite as refined yet, and sequels sure didn’t have quality on a consistent level yet. But Bad Boys For Life is fortunately a product of this new era, wisely taking notes from both of its predecessors, but also knowing when not to listen.