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Movie Reviews: Review and Synopsis Hollywood Movie: Bad Boys for Life (2020)

Bad Boys for Life is a 2020 American action comedy film that is the sequel to Bad Boys II (2003) and the third installment in the Bad Boys franchise. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence reprise their starring roles in the film, which is directed by Adil & Bilall and written by Chris Bremner, Peter Craig, and Joe Carnahan? The film's cast also includes Paola Núñez, Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, Charles Melton, Kate del Castillo, Nicky Jam, and Joe Panto Liano. It was produced by Smith, Jerry Bruckheimer, and Doug Belgrad. In Bad Boys for Life, Miami detectives Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett investigate a string of murders tied to Lowrey's troubled past.

A third Bad Boys film had been discussed over the years after the release of the second in 2003, with Michael Bay stating he would be interested in returning to direct, but budgetary constraints made going ahead difficult. The film went through several attempts to enter production over the course of a decade, with a variety of writers and directors attached. The project was eventually finalized and green-lit in October 2018, and filming began the following year, lasting from January to June 2019. Principal photography took place in Atlanta, Miami, and Mexico City.

Bad Boys for Life was theatrically released in the United States on January 17, 2020, by Sony Pictures Releasing under the Columbia Pictures label. The film was generally well-received by critics, becoming the best-reviewed film in the series. It grossed $426.5 million worldwide, making it the biggest January release of all time and the fourth highest-grossing film of 2020. Its box-office run abruptly ended when theaters closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Movie Reviews: Review and Synopsis Hollywood Movie: Bad Boys for Life (2020)

Synopsis Bad Boys for Life - 2020

Isabel Aretas, widow of cartel kingpin Benito, escapes from a Mexican prison with the aid of her son Armando. Isabel sends Armando to Miami, tasking him with recovering a substantial stash of money his father Benito had hidden, as well as assassinating the people responsible for his father's arrest and eventual death in prison. Isabel demands that Armando kill Miami detective Mike Lowrey last.

In Miami, Mike accompanies his partner Marcus Burnett to the birth of his first grandson. Desiring to spend more time with his family, the aging Marcus tells Mike he intends to retire, to Mike's chagrin. During a party celebrating Marcus' grandson, Mike is shot by Armando and left in a coma for months. Chastised by Isabel for targeting Mike first, Armando continues to assassinate other targets on his list during Mike's convalescence.

Following Mike's recovery, he is determined to seek revenge and unsuccessfully attempts to recruit the now-retired Marcus, causing a fall out between them. Mike violently obtains the identity of arms dealer Booker Grassie from an informant. Realizing that Mike will not heed orders to stay away from the investigation, Captain Howard reluctantly allows him to work with the tech-driven team in charge, the Advanced Miami Metro Operations (AMMO), led by Mike's ex-girlfriend Rita.

While the team surveils Grassie at an arms deal, Mike determines that the buyers intend to kill Grassie and intervenes, but fails to save him. Later, Marcus is called by Carver Remy, an old informant who believes the assassin is after him. Marcus contacts Mike and the pair travel to Carver, but are too late to save him. Armando escapes after a fistfight with Mike.

Captain Howard later reveals his intentions to retire as well, offering advice to Mike that he needs to find a path forward in life. He is abruptly assassinated by Armando moments later. The captain's death pulls Marcus out of retirement, but he intends to work as a team with AMMO. They track down Grassie's accountant, who leads them to Lorenzo "Zway-Lo" Rodriguez. They infiltrate Zway-Lo's birthday party leading to a destructive car chase. Armando arrives in a helicopter to rescue Zway-Lo but kills him when he blocks Armando's ability to shoot the pursuing Mike. As he lines up a shot, Armando tells Mike "Hasta el fuego". Gunfire from Marcus creates cover for Mike, who falls into the water below.

AMMO is shut down because of a failed operation. In private, Mike reveals to Marcus that Armando maybe his son. Before partnering with Marcus, Mike worked as an undercover officer in the Aretas cartel where he met Isabel. They fell in love and intended to run away together, using "Hasta el fuego" as a made-up secret catchphrase. Mike ultimately remained loyal to the police, realizing how dangerous Isabel had become. Despite Mike's opposition, Marcus and AMMO join him in Mexico City to confront her.

At the Hidalgo Palace, Mike meets Isabel and scolds her for concealing the truth from him. A shootout quickly ensues between AMMO and Isabel's men. Marcus shoots the pilot of Isabel's support helicopter, causing it to crash into the central lobby and start a fire. Marcus confronts Isabel, while Mike tries to explain the truth to Armando. Armando begins to beat up Mike, but he refuses to retaliate. 

Demanding the truth from his mother, Isabel confirms to Armando that Mike is his father. Realizing the task he spent a lifetime training for was a lie, Armando tries to protect his father, leading to Isabel inadvertently shooting Armando in the chest while aiming for Mike. Enraged, she attempts to finish Mike, but Rita intervenes and shoots Isabel, sending her falling to her death into the flames below.

Sometime later, Rita has been promoted to police Captain, while Mike and Marcus are placed in charge of AMMO. Mike visits a remorseful Armando in prison, offering him a chance to earn some redemption, which he accepts.

Cast Bad Boys for Life (2020)

Will Smith as Detective Lieutenant Michael Eugene 'Mike' Lowrey, Marcus' partner/best friend/brother.
Martin Lawrence as Detective Lieutenant Marcus Miles Burnett, Mike's partner/best friend/brother.
Paola Núñez as Lieutenant Rita Secada, head of A.M.M.O. and Mike's ex-girlfriend.
Vanessa Hudgens as Kelly, weapons expert of AMMO
Alexander Ludwig as Dorn, tech expert of AMMO
Charles Melton as Rafe, member of AMMO
Jacob Scipio as Armando Aretas, Mike and Isabel's son
Kate del Castillo as Isabel 'La Bruja' Aretas, Mike's ex-lover and Armando's mother
Nicky Jam as Lorenzo 'Zway-Lo' Rodríguez
Joe Pantoliano as Captain Conrad Howard
Theresa Randle as Theresa Burnett, Marcus' wife
Massi Furlan as Lee Taglin
Happy Anderson as Jenkins
Dennis Greene as Reggie
Bianca Bethune as Megan Burnett, Marcus' daughter
Michael Bay as Wedding M.C.
DJ Khaled as Manny the Butcher
Rory Markham as Booker Grassie

Movie Reviews Bad Boys for Life (2020)

Bad Boys for Life grossed $204.4 million in the United States and Canada, and $220.2 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $424.6 million, against a production budget of $90 million. It is both the highest-grossing film in the Bad Boys franchise and the highest-grossing film released in January.

In the United States and Canada, the film was released alongside Dolittle and was initially projected to gross $35–45 million from 3,740 theaters during its three-day opening weekend, for a total of around $48 million over the full four-day MLK weekend. After making $23.5 million on its first day (including $6.36 million from Thursday night previews), estimates were raised to $68 million for four days. The film went on to debut to $62.2 million in its first three days, and $73.4 million over four, the second-best opening for the holiday. It made $34 million in its second weekend and $17.7 million in its third, remaining in first place both times.

The box office performance of this film was affected by movie theaters closures in mid-March because of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. After the easing of initial restrictions, the film was released in three Santikos Theatres locations in San Antonio, Texas on May 1, 2020. After a long delay, the film was released in China on August 14 and made $3.2 million on its first weekend.

Critical response

IndieWire described reviews for Bad Boys for Life as "mostly positive", while Screen Rant stated the critics were "generally positive". The review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 77% based on 257 reviews and an average rating of 6.22/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "Loaded up with action and a double helping of leading-man charisma, Bad Boys for Life reinvigorates this long-dormant franchise by playing squarely to its strengths." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 59 out of 100, based on 46 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale, equivalent to the first two films. PostTrak reported an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, with 73% of their respondents saying they would definitely recommend it.

Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter wrote that "the third time really is the charm," and added, "The two directors roll with ease between raucous comedy and raw drama, to considerable effect, just as they crank up the tension on any number of occasions, occasionally with palpably visceral impact."David Ehrlich of IndieWire gave the film a "B" grade, calling it a "fun, explosive, and even thoughtful action movie," and wrote, "Bad Boys for Life doesn't aim to raise the bar on its genre or rewrite the blockbuster rulebook, but it's a blast watching Lawrence and Smith revisit these characters and find a sensible place for them in the current Hollywood landscape.
Source: Wikipedia

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