Sandy Kenyon reviews 'Bad Boys For Life'

NEW YORK (WABC) -- I admit that I was not looking forward to seeing the third in a series of movies that began a quarter of a century ago.

In fact, I left for the screening expecting the worst so I was pleasantly surprised that "Bad Boys For Life" wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.

From the very start, it's apparent the bond between these two remains strong despite their differences.

Both Will Smith and Martin Lawrence work hard for their big payday - which is one reason why I can recommend you spend your hard-earned cash to go see them.

It helps to have a younger generation come aboard and helps to have a franchise willing to poke fun at what's come before, most noticeably when the younger cast members start singing the famous theme song from the original.

Hearing one chorus of, "Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?" prompts Smith's character to say, "Hey, hey! No, never. Y'all will never do that again!"

These bad boys are still detectives in Miami, but Lawrence's character is a grandfather who reminds his partner played by Will Smith, "we got more time behind us than we have in front of us."

Each partner has lost a step or two as they look into why the wife of a dead drug-lord is so bent on revenge.

There are too many jokes about age here, but I didn't really mind the occasional lame note because the rapport between the two stars is so good.

"Look all our lives we've been bad boys," Lawrence's character said. "Now it's time to be good men."

They "work so well together" says Maddie Cadena, a 10th-grader from Deer Park High School on Long Island.

She appreciated the movie's Latin influence after accompanying me to the screening. We said goodbye to her mom, Melissa, before settling in for a ride that Maddie said kept her on the edge of her seat.

A respectable 75% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes means plenty of other critics agree with Maddie and I when we say "Bad Boys for Life" is a fun time.

"It's better than the first two movies in the series," Cadena said.

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