Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) return as Miami detectives trying to take down a new leader within the Mexican cartel who has a vendetta against Lowrey.
As with most “long awaited” sequels I honestly believe that your relationship with the originals can go a long way to colouring your opinion of the new film. When Bad Boys released in 1995 I was a teenager and Michael Bay was making his first feature film and I really enjoyed myself with this new look action movie. When the sequel came around in 2003 Bay was starting to become the action cliche he has now become and I found the film and it’s 157 minute running time interminably bad. Another seventeen years later the third film didn’t exactly fill me with anticipation although the fact that Bay was not at the reigns did pique my interest. The end result for me is as mixed as my opinions on the two previous films. There are some good moments but the middle section is extraordinarily dull and Martin Lawrence just doesn’t make me laugh.
New directors Adil and Billal do a really good job of copying Bay’s clear crisp visual style whilst improving upon the action by making it coherent. Joe Carnahan also has a story and screenwriting credit which certainly explains its action sequences being well staged. There are some impressive shoot outs and fine car chases. Plot wise it’s even more of a Lethal Weapon homage than the previous films, Martin Lawrence could just as well utter the line “I’m too old for this shit” and it not be out of place. The extended cast are also fine, Joe Pantoliano is on top form as the Captain having to put up with their antics and the new elite team are a fun group of action archetypes.
The end result ultimately left me feeling hollow though. Some solid action sequences don’t make a good film and the characters and plot are not of much interest. If you are a fan of the originals I’m sure you will enjoy it but I think there are far more interesting action movies available.
Film nerds should note that Don Simpson appears in the Bruckheimer production company logo at the beginning and keep their eyes open for a cameo from Michael Bay.