Title – Bad Boys for Life (2020)
Directors – Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (Black)
Cast – Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Alexander Ludwig, Vanessa Hudgens, Joe Pantoliano
Plot – Detectives, buddies and bad boys Mike Lowrey (Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Lawrence) are back as they look to take down criminals and save the day in a way only they know how to do.
“Do you want your legacy to be muscle shirts and body counts?”
Review by Eddie on 17/01/2020
It’s been 17 years since we last saw smart talking best buddies and Miami detectives Mike Lowery and Marcus Burnett and we now find them without their head honcho, as original director Michael Bay has departed the universe he helped create, but if anyone had doubts about both Will Smith and Martin Lawrence being too old for this caper, think again!
Instilling their film with a toned down sense of Bayism’s but not dialling back the craziness in any way shape or form, directing duo Adil and Bilall prove to be perfect headmasters of the Bad Boy universe as they throw detectives Lowery and Burnett into a surprisingly sentimental comedy thrill ride that never threatens to stop for any significant amount of time as it’s highly over the top plot and action beats remain front and centre.
From the moment the film kicks off with Lowery and Burnett racing through the streets of Miami in the latest model Porsche, you get a very strong sense of what the latest addition in the franchise is going for and not surprisingly if you’re either not a fan of the series or not accustomed to previous entries, you may find yourself struggling to have a good time, but for fans, Bad Boys for Life will be giving you a dosage of action packed adrenaline that will be a sight for sore eyes.
Importantly for the film and key to the reason it’s such a fun, if forgettable romp, is the same chemistry and easy going charm that’s found in the pairing of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.
Joined once more by the scene stealing Joe Pantoliano as police Captain Howard and solid new additions to the world such as Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig and Charles Melton as fellow Miami law enforcement officers, Smith and Lawrence well and truely prove that their return to this franchise wasn’t the wrong move as they put many other imitators to shame as they bicker, butt-kick and bromance their way through an investigation into a dangerous Mexican crime family.
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Smith in such fun and energetic form, while after what feels like a long time on the sidelines, the return of Lawrence proves he can still cut it as a leading man.
There’s nothing here that messes with the rule book but there’s no need for the film to do so with Lowery and Burnett already well established, while nicely for the film, there’s enough surprises in the plot to keep things unpredictable, while Adil and Bilall showcase a strong sense of action craftsmanship as they stage some impressively intense set pieces across the sun drenched surrounds of the film.
Without a slight doubt, Bad Boys for Life provides nothing close to high class cinema but as a refreshingly old school offering that is looking to provide thrills, laughs and eye candy without any sloppily tacked on political messages or statements, this return to the bullet strewn world of our loveable detectives is a winner.
Final Say –
Against the odds and despite missing Michael Bay, Bad Boys for Life is a seriously fun big screen return for Detectives Burnett and Lowery that is sure to be a big hit with long time fans.
3 1/2 forehead lumps out of 5