Julian Reviews: ‘Bad Boys For Life’

“Whatcha Gonna Do When Maturity Comes For You?”

Directed by: Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah

Written by: Chris Bremmer (screenplay), Peter Craig (screenplay and story by), Joe Carnahan (screenplay and story by), George Gallo (characters)

Starring: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Paola Nuñez, Kate del Castillo, Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, Charles Melton, Joe Pantoliano, Jacob Scipio

Synopsis (IMDB): The Bad Boys Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett are back together for one last ride in the highly anticipated Bad Boys for Life.

Julian’s review:

In the era of cinematic universes, comic-book movie universes, sequels, prequels, reboots, reboot sequels, reboot prequels, and prequel sequels or interquels, everyone in Hollywood has run out of good ideas or a good script to make anything original. They have to shuffle through their movie library catalog of movies like VHS tapes to see if people are willing to update or revisit classics. The Bad Boys franchise just so happens to be in that category of VHS tapes that are being refurbished and cleaned up after the semi competent first movie in 1995 and the debauchery and maximum overload of complete ridiculousness of the second movie Bad Boys II which came out in 2003 (My God, are we old).

The first two movies were directed by one of my least favorite human beings on Planet Earth, Michael Bay, who has ruined everyone’s childhoods with Transformers, projects loud, offensive stereotypes, and who shoots scenes with women as if he’s creepily leering at them from behind the camera. This new movie, Bad Boys for Life, Bilall Fallah and Adi El Arbiand written by Chris Bremmer, Peter Craig and Joe Carnahan, has matured like a trouble deviant who finally realizes what they are doing isn’t cool and finds a way to become whole again. This movie was a great way to start off 2020. 

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Fallah and El Arbi have both somehow captured the essence of “Bayhem” without overdoing it, unlike Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw. The action scenes were over-the-top, but had a point and purpose, with consequences or repercussions.

As Detectives Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are funny and have great chemistry in this movie. The comedic jokes in the movie are funny and on point. The actors and actresses who played as the Miami Police Department’s special division AMMO (Vanessa Hudgens, Paola Nunez, Alexander Ludwig, and Charles Melton) did a great job and served their purpose as the next generation of crime-fighting Miami detectives. Even Joe Pantoliano, who played Captain Conrad for the past two movies, did a great job as well. There are even people who you may have seen for a brief moment in Bad Boys II grow up. Moments in the movie will make you think to yourself, “Wow, this maturity is from a movie franchise that had two policemen going around accidentally killing their own suspects!”

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The story itself is surprisingly great and somehow thought-provoking, particularly in a certain scene that I will not spoil. It is a personal story that deals with repercussions of a bombastic and violent past and how said repercussions come back to haunt the main characters, similar to another movie that I liked, 2019’s Charlie’s Angels which is about the story of repercussions from the past. Bad Boys For Life makes our main characters and the franchise become more mature, which actually makes me appreciate this franchise a lot more than I originally thought I would. So, I have got to say to everyone in this movie and to this franchise, good job!

Bad Boys for Life is a great buddy cop action movie that feels more like a summer season movie rather than a January movie. I can gladly say that this movie has now made me more of a fan of the Bad Boys franchise now. Hearing that they are writing a fourth one probably with the same directors and screenwriters without Michael Bay, means that the franchise is in good hands and they are not shelving this VHS set (metaphorically speaking) just yet.

4 out of 5 stars

Julian Jones is a sociology student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. When he’s not studying or watching films, he’s practicing for his next performance with the UAB Chamber Singers. Let him know what you thought of his review by leaving him a comment below!