For me, the third time really is the charm with the Bad Boys films. I truly disliked the Michael Bay directed Bad Boys (1995) and Bad Boys II (2003). I just don't like the way Bay presents his action scenes - the jittery camera and chaotic editing. It's all custom made for short attention spans. While Bay does have an acting cameo in the new Bad Boys for Life, he didn't direct it...and it shows. Bad Boys for Life is directed by Belgian filmmakers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah and they have made an entertaining action comedy with well choreographed action and a tight revenge plot.
Miami detectives Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) are getting long in the tooth. New grandfather Marcus wants to retire while Mike still gets a rush from busting bad guys. After an assassination attempts to snuff out Mike, the two partners come back together to find the culprit.
Now, I don't want to oversell the movie, for it is ridiculous action nonsense and some Marcus' one-liners and the bickering between the duo in the middle of shootouts or chases can be a bit much. However, the film is fun and coherent. It has a simple revenge plot which drops in a nifty complication at the midpoint. There are also memorable side characters like the young cops Mike and Marcus are forced to work with, played by Vanessa Hudgens, Charles Melton and Alexander Ludwig. There are very funny and even a few thoughtful moments concerning the two main characters and the subject of aging. And hell, it's cool when an out of control helicopter chases through the skylight of a dilapidated mansion.
By far, Bad Boys for Life is the best in this action comedy trilogy.