Title: Bad Boys for Life
Release Date: Jan 17th, 2020
Studio: Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Releasing
Release Format: Theatrical
I walked into Bad Boys for Life weary, then I left afterwards wishing they would keep making these for life. In a sea of rough January releases, however, this flick is smooth sailing filled with bullets and explosions.
Bad Boys For Life finds Miami PD’s finest Mike Lowery (Will Smith) and Marcus (Martin Lawrence) on their most emotion-fueled journey yet. There is a mysterious assassin after Lowrey’s head, which brings the two cops together for one last ride.
Bad Boys is worth the 17 years wait with what might arguably be the best entry in the franchise. You have the absurd action, engaging drama, and hilarious dialogue between Smith and Lawrence that had me out of breath.
It’s been a minute since I watched a film this consistently funny that had me doing ugly laughs. You know, those laughs that can silence a room real quick, having people wanna check who’s the escaped mental patient.
Age Is Just a Number
Bad Boys has been modernized for audiences in 2020 without sacrificing the funny, yet raw actioned fueled adventures it is known for. As the characters have evolved, so has the writing with this deeper look at Marcus, Mike, and where life has led them.
Bad Boys for Life isn’t just a nostalgia trip, while there are some cool nods to past entries, this stands strong on its own. The chemistry between both leads is real, and the best part of the film showcased no better than in the but-gusting airplane scene that is clearly improvised. You know it’s funny if they couldn’t get a usable shot of the actors not breaking SNL style.
This movie had the theatre sounding like a crowd at a football game with the various reactions it invoked. There’s a shocking scene where even a Buddhist who has taken a vow of silence will scream obscenities from the sudden surprise.
It’s clear at this point that Mike Lowery is a sociopath like Dexter, who uses working for the police to fuel his serial killer urges. Marcus, on the other hand, is getting too old for it all, and that makes their clashes more charged than ever.
Smith acts like he is going after the Oscar “tell the truth” didn’t nab him here. There are some emotionally charged scenes here between him and Lawrence that the franchise has never seen. Unfortunately, Lawrence doesn’t always hold up his end and does some Reggie acting, but his comedic genius makes up for it.
Alongside the originals, the new AMMO members, who can also double as Degrassi: The Next Generation cast members, join the fray. This is the first time in the series where other characters are given their chance to shine.
Charles Melton, as the sharp-tongued Rafe, had me longing for more scenes of him and Smith trading verbal blows. Vanessa Hudgen’s Kelly does enough for me to be interested to see how her character develops beyond tough chick. Alexander Ludwig’s Dorn is the incredibly jacked tech guy with a dark past who chooses to be behind the keyboard. He’s a nice juxtaposition to the trigger happy Lowry who seems to be on a mission to beat John Wick’s body-count.
Bad Boys for Life soundtrack continues the series tradition of having bangers. “Shake Ya’ Tailfeather” still goes hard all these years later, and it seems that “RITMO” from J Balvin and The Black Eyed Peas is the stand out track.
The previously mentioned track is a Latin infused EDM track that encapsulates Miami. Other artists such as Nicky Jam, Rick Ross, and City Girls pop up with tracks that feel well-suited for the scene and the city overall.
However, Bad Boys was so close to being the first film to take place in Miami and not feature a Pitbull song. Then, I heard “dale” echo through the theatre and knew Mr. 305, like every movie soundtrack, slid his way on to this film too. It’s a throwaway song that is mind-boggling as to how this made it when the rest of the songs were good
As a Miami local, I appreciated the effort to make this is an actual city and not a travel package highlight reel. There are different rarely places such as Overtown, Wynwood, and other spots getting some shine on the big screen. There’s even a joke or two that only South Florida people would understand.
What everyone can understand, though is the excellent action throughout this movie. It replicates some of the stupid bombastic stunts of Micheal Bay’s work, which makes you question the physics of it before getting lost in action again. Some choreography doesn’t come off too well, but this is so fast-paced that it can be overlooked.
The Right Way to Start 2020
Verdict: Bad Boys for Life beat the odds by making a sequel decades later that tops everything before it. Smith and Lawrence make a duo that is pure comedic gold while being bonafide action heroes. Other characters such as the villain could have been fleshed out more, but the end result is still the most entertaining film of this year so far.
What’s your favorite Will Smith movie? What’s the best buddy cop film? What 90s action film are you fondest of to this day? Leave your comments!
- Constantly Funny
- Smith and Lawrence are fantastic leads
- Action is over the top and engaging.
- Villian/side characters need to be more fleshed out