June 9, 2023

I can’t even lie, I thought the new Bad Boys movie would be trash.

When the trailer dropped, I was highly disappointed. Everyone looked washed, Martin looked like he was turning into Big Momma in real life and Will Smith’s stunts looked faker than a Jenner-Kardashian super hybrid. However, despite the awful previews, my blackness (which can defined as my internal spirit or the Force from Star Wars or some shit) wouldn’t allow me to skip this movie. My blackness would drag me to this movie, even if it was against my will. And to be honest, my blackness would’ve made me lie to y’all and say this movie was the greatest movie of all time even if it was a two hour piece of shit. Like, the movie could’ve been two hours featuring a literal piece of discharged feces running around, shooting bad guys and I would’ve lied to y’all. Because that’s how loyal I am to Mike Lowrey, Marcus Burnett and my blackness.

But I thank God I ain’t gotta lie to y’all.

Bad Boys For Life was so mf good, I couldn’t believe how good it was while I was in the movies. I laughed, I cried, I smiled and I laughed some more, all while rooting for two old, washed black icons who were my pop culture heroes growing up. And this movie reminded me of how both Will Smith and Martin Lawrence influenced not only who I am as a person, but the culture, overall.

Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett are titans of the culture..

And these titans showed their mf asses. Set 25 years after the first film and 17 years after the second film, Bad Boys starts off by highlighting Mike’s driving skills, which seem to be super human at this point. Honestly, the Fresh Prince drives better than the whole Fast and Furious franchise. Anyway, from there, we witness non stop action and comedy, as Mike provides most of the action and Marcus provides laugh out loud comedy, almost as if he is a member of the audience, astonished by all of the crazy shit happening around him.

The Bad Boy family also introduces us to some newcomers, a group of young cops who represent the millennial generation. This addition is welcomed because it provides an excellent “old meets new” dynamic, as the young cops rely heavily on bad guy/civilian safety and technology (sometimes to a fault) while the old timers still don’t give two shits about the safety of the bad guys and are weary toward the idea of new technology and new methods (like not using real bullets while the bad guys are using real bullets), but learn to eventually embrace the newbies while the newbies welcome old tricks of the game by the old timers. Although they get off to a rocky start, the newcomers and the old timers come together to eventually form an imperfect family.

Bad Boys For Life lets us enjoy the brotherhood relationship of Marcus and Mike, a relationship that wasn’t as much of a focus in the second movie. This movie really highlighted how much this duo loves each other, and their partnership goes way beyond simply friendships. This brotherhood is highlighted in scene after scene, as Mike and Marcus continuously lift each other up when all hope seems lost. Forget a Bad Boys for life, Marcus and Mike are Brothers for life.

If there is one critique, the villain(s) came across a little “comic book-y” and isn’t your typical Bad Boys villain. Even though the villain(s) is apart of a Mexican Drug cartel, its revenge, not the sell of drugs, that are is central motivator. And to be honest, the shit WORKS. In my opinion, that plot point was a great change in direction from your typical Bad Boys villain, who the previous two movies have been nothing more than a drug dealer and his henchmen trying to make as much money as possible while killing any and everyone who gets in their way.

Lastly, Bad Boys For Life does an excellent job mixing, blending, and balancing the action, comedy, drama and nostalgia, thus giving us a perfect soup of emotions as well as a satisfying ending. I’m ashamed to admit that I doubted this movie would be good. I doubted culture. And 10 minutes into the movie, I immediately regretted allowing such toxic assumptions to occupy my psyche. This franchise, headed by black culture icons deserved the benefit of the doubt. My blackness gave them the benefit of the doubt and made me go see this movie. I ain’t shit. However, my blackness is the shit.

Thank you, my blackness for not betting against Bad Boys For Life, for not betting against the culture.

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