When it comes to film, the newest releases of any new year are likely to be skippable or downright terrible. And based on the fact that Bad Boys for Life is a sequel to a pair of movies that were released 1995 and 2003 respectively, we had another reason not to be all that optimistic. However, I’m happy to report that we actually get a movie here that exceeded my expectations overall.
Detectives Mike Lowery (Will Smith) and Marcus Bennet (Martin Lawrence) are back protecting the streets of Miami from whatever dangers they come across. This time, the danger they’re facing has a connection from the past that can alter their lives and careers. In order to overcome the odds, the duo will need to rely on their long-standing brotherhood while also opening themselves up to new possibilities.
As one would expect from a movie starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, the comedy here is key. Not only is it one of the main assets, it also happens to be the best part of the film. Right from the opening scene, we’re reintroduced to these two characters and the comedic elements that they bring. Once it starts, it rarely ever relents for anything longer than a brief second in time.
I know it’s been a part of the series and always will be, but I didn’t expect it to go over as well as it does. Some of it works the way it does because of the chemistry between the two leads still remains strong after all these years. After three movies and two and a half decades, they continue to show that charisma, engaging personalities, and the ability to remain funny still count. Without them here and performing at this level, Bad Boys for Life wouldn’t be as satisfying as it is.
After the comedy and the chemistry between Smith and Lawrence, the action has to be next up in terms of importance. Of course, just like those other two features, that’s also a constant staple in this franchise. What we get here is not on the exact same grandiose level as the other two Michael Bay directed films in the series, but it’s fast, reliable, constant, and manages to give you at least some explosive fun when it matters the most.
The only real problem with this movie is the plot twist that they give us. There’s really no need for it and just makes things a little more unrealistic than it already is. I would have preferred it if they had gone another route instead. They had a chance to change it or head in another direction, but they, unfortunately, decided to stick with it.
This being released in January caused me to worry about how good it could be. They don’t usually release too many genuinely entertaining movies this time of year. And when looking at what it has to offer, Bad Boys for Life is the kind of picture that would usually be released as the weather is starting to warm up or when it’s on the verge of cooling down. I can’t figure out why it wasn’t released then. Maybe it was because they knew there would be less competition?
Anyway, other than the plot twist, there aren’t a great deal of negatives to point out here. And to put it bluntly, I don’t think you can have a bad time watching Bad Boys for Life. That’s mostly because of the comedy, the action, and the chemistry between the two leads. It probably won’t end up being anyone’s favorite movie of 2020, but I can’t see too many people regretting giving this highly amusing action-comedy a chance even if they haven’t seen the first two.
Directors: Adil & Bilall
Kate Del Castillo
Film Length: 134 minutes
Release Date: January 17, 2020
Distributor: Sony Pictures
- Score - 7/107/10