starring Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens, Joe Pantoliano
screenplay by Chris Bremner and Peter Craig and Joe Carnahan
directed by Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah
by Walter Chaw Rumors of Will Smith's death were greatly exaggerated as, in reprising one of his most vile characters, he finds in this third Bad Boys flick the pathos-leavened vitality that had been missing since his last third instalment, 2012's Men In Black 3. Between: a string of bathetic misfires of varying levels of foul, wherein the once and future superstar struggled to regain his stride. Truly, only a Will Smith could survive a concentrated period such as his last eight years of genuine calamities like Winter's Tale, Suicide Squad, Collateral Beauty, and Max Landis. Here, again, the irrepressible charisma that made him a bona fide A-list action hero long about Independence Day (if not the first Bad Boys the year before) busts off the screen like a physical thing. It's a ballsy choice, then, that the directing team of Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (Black) choose to sideline him for a while immediately after a bombastic opening car-chase sequence. Even that's a fake-out, as our rogue cops Marcus (Martin Lawrence) and Mike (Smith) are just rushing to Marcus's daughter's side as she gives birth to Marcus's grandson. Everyone's growing older. Bad Boys for Life gets that.