'Bad Boys for Life' refreshing tribute to '90s action cinema

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in “Bad Boys for Life.” 

After turning in the first two greatly beloved, operatically souped-up action opuses in the “Bad Boys” franchise, everyone’s favorite gearhead maximalist auteur Michael Bay is no longer behind the camera for the third, “Bad Boys for Life” (though he is in front of it, briefly).

Not to worry though, as Belgian filmmaking duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, clearly devoted students of Bay’s style, craft a wonderful facsimile of his greatest hits, from his swirling low-angle dolly shots to capturing the glorious clash of sunset and neon that screams Miami. From the very first sequence of a screeching Porsche burning up the streets of South Beach, El Arbi and Fallah prove that as directors, they have the horsepower to match Bay, if not the grace yet. Nevertheless, their first major American feature outing is a loving and skillful tribute to pure ’90s action cinema, and it’s a hoot for fans of the franchise.

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