Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5
USA/Mexico, 2020. Columbia Pictures, 2.0 Entertainment, Columbia Pictures Mexico, Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Overbrook Entertainment. Story by Peter Craig, Joe Carnahan, Screenplay by Chris Bremner, Peter Craig, Joe Carnahan, based on characters created by George Gallo. Cinematography by Robrecht Heyvaert. Produced by Doug Belgrad, Jerry Bruckheimer, Will Smith. Music by Lorne Balfe. Production Design by Jon Billington. Costume Design by Dayna Pink. Film Editing by Dan Lebental, Peter McNulty.
Twenty five years after the first hit film made waves and seventeen years after the abysmal sequel did them no favours, the team of slick daredevil cop Will Smith and his goofy partner Martin Lawrence still has all the charisma and charm that were on display since day one. Now a bit older and creakier, the two find they have grown apart thanks to Smith’s still wanting to chase action and danger while Lawrence decides that, with the birth of his grandson, he’s ready to settle down to a quieter life.
When Smith is gunned down by a mysterious man on a motorcycle and is laid up for months in recovery, it prompts Lawrence to retire, but his partner tries to get him to reverse that plan when he gets out of the hospital and joins a team of young, elite Miami cops to hunt down the man who shot not only him but has murdered a number of his associates. What he doesn’t know is that south of the border is a woman (Kate del Castillo) who is arranging all this mayhem in an effort to get Smith back for his sins of the past.
Colourful, action-filled and genuinely funny, this one hits all of its points with robust confidence and chipper glee, wisely counting on its stars’ chemistry to keep it afloat and help us ignore the fact that the plot isn’t that interesting and the villain(s?) not that impressive (or consistent, the idea of del Castillo having some kind of witchy powers is played at and never fully worked out properly). The support team is made up of fresh and welcome faces, though if the studio is attempting to rival the Fast and Furious franchise by turning what was a two-hander into some kind of group adventure, they haven’t come up with anything that will threaten that series any time soon. Still, the neon lights shine bright and the stars look like they’ve barely aged a day, this one is a very fun indulgence.