Bad Boys for Life Still Has Gas In The Tank

Mike (WILL SMITH), Marcus (MARTIN LAWRENCE) on the streets of Miami in Columbia Pictures' BAD BOYS FOR LIFE. Photo by Ben Rothstein.

Bad Boys for Life reunites Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in the Miami-set action-comedy and doesn’t stray too far from Bayhem.

If you read nothing more, please know that there is only a mid-credits scene.  Outside of that, there is no scene at the end of the film.

Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) are back for what is being marketed as their last ride.  Will it actually be their last ride?  We can never tell what the future may hold.  The two of them are certainly still having fun together so never say never.  The film captures our attention from the very first car chase that finds its way to the screen.  There are so many car chases in this film and not surprisingly, they lean in towards the humor more so than the thrills.

While the film isn’t a reboot, they bring in some younger characters from the Advanced Miami Metro Operations (AMMO) to aid Lowrey and Burnett.  Nevermind whether or not they could possibly star in a franchise spin-off.   THe big thing here is how AMMO offers a contrasting approach to investigating crime in Miami.  Will it be enough to co-exist together in the Miami Police Department?  It is honestly hard to say!

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are not getting any younger.  A decent amount of comedy comes from seeing the differences in their behavior.  It’s not too spoilery to suggest that the film’s opening events have a major impact on their relationship.

There’s something in watching Joe Pantoliano’s portrayal of Captain Conrad Howard that reminds me so much of Jere Burns in procedural spoof Angie Tribeca.  This was one of the thoughts I had in viewing the film.  It makes me wonder if the franchise was one of the influences of the series.  Pantoliano is one of very few actors to appear in the three Bad Boys films.

While Michael Bay may no longer be directing the duo, one can sense his hands all over this film. The signature Bayhem is so prominent during the third act that one could assume he was directing the film!  I want to make it known now that I didn’t see the first two films in the franchise.  The two previous films do not appear to be very necessary outside of character development.

One does have to question Sony’s decision to release Bad Boys for Life in January.  This is the first film in the franchise that will stay away from the summer box office season.  January is typically a dumping ground for movies so it’s mind-boggling.  I know that Will Smith has had his share of box office troubles over the years but he’s not bad in the film!

Bad Boys for Life still has some gas left in the tank after 25 years.

DIRECTOR:  Adil & Bilall
SCREENWRITERS:  Peter Craig and Joe Carnahan and Chris Bremner
CAST:  Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, Charles Melton, Paola Nunez, Kate Del Castillo, Nicky Jam, and Joe Pantoliano

Sony Pictures Releasing opens Bad Boys for Life in theaters on January 17, 2020. Grade: 3.5/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.