Bad Boys for Life – A Review

It’s been 25 years since Martin Lawrence and Will Smith first brought these lovable bad boys to our screens and it’s been nearly 17 years since the last movie. Is it too late to bring these rogue cops back? Are they more Bad Grandpa than Bad Boys? Let’s find out.


The Bay Effect

Back in the 90’s Michael Bay was only coming into his own. The over the top slow mo action and high octane explosions were cutting edge and made him very successful. Both Bad Boys one & two adopted this style with gusto and flourished because of it. However, after approximately 7 thousand Transformer movies…..we’ve all become a little jaded of the Bay effect (all flash with no substance). Thankfully Bay has nothing to do with the movie and this is a slightly more grown up film because of that. The flashy slow-mo has been turned down which was a pleasant surprise.


Age Appropriate

Anther good decision the film makes is to no pretend that there;s been a big gap between movies. Lowry & Burnett are older and not able to do all the ridiculous stunts from their youth. Lowry is still in great shape and clinging to his past while Burnett has fully settled in to retirement and is comfortable with his age. The comedy dynamic is good between these contrasting characters although a lot of the humor seems more miss than hit which is a little disappointing.


Going Dark

I would guess that this is the two boys swan song and as such, the movie isn’t shy about taking chances or throwing huge curve balls. I don’t want to give any of the plot away but it definitely goes dark and gritty when it needs to which adds weigh to the characters and decisions that are made. Will Smith in particular is excellent at selling emotional scenes when the script calls for it and it really feels like he gives it his all. By the time the movie builds up to the final act, I was utterly invested in the story line and genuine worried for the characters which is almost unheard of in most action movies.


Martin Lawrence

I can’t ignore it anymore. I’ve covered lots of positives in the movie but Martin for me, is a let down. A complete contrast to Will Smith who is pouring his heart into the role and making huge efforts, Martin is just picking up a pay check. Many might consider that a bit of a harsh critique but that’s how I feel. His humor was off, his line delivery lacked any punch and in quite a few scenes, he seems to slur his lines. There are character issues too. Mike Lowry is begging his partner to help him and it’s kind of baffling. Friendship aside, Marcus is absolutely useless as a cop. He can’t run, fight, shoot and basically gets caught by bad guys at every turn. If I was Mike, I’d be glad of Grandpa staying home and letting the young blood team assist instead!



This is a solid film, which surprised me! I expected it to fail. I still feel Martin Lawrence could have put more effort in but it’s not a deal breaker. This movie has solid action scenes, character development, high stakes that keep you invested and it isn’t afraid to take chances. Bad Boys for Life still has some spark behind the eyes. Check it out!


What did you think of the movie? With the young bloods were they planning a franchise? Will we get another sequel or are these Bad Boys retired? Let me know in the comments below!


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