MOVIE REVIEW: Bad Boys for Life


Release Date: 17 January 2020 (USA)
Studio: Sony Pictures
Official Site:
Directors: Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah
Writers: Chris Bremner, Peter Craig
Rating: R
Running Time: 2h 4min
Starring: Will Smith, Alexander Ludwig, Vanessa Hudgens
Genre: Action, Comedy, Buddy Cop
Base Score: 3.5 (All Right)


“Bad Boys” is the theme of the television series, Cops. Way back in 1995, the original “Bad Boys” movie was cool. They were two cops. Cool. They were also “Bad Boys”. Cool. That was the era when buddy cops colored a little bit outside the line. You couldn’t throw a stick in the 80’s and 90’s without hitting a few “bad boy” cops.

That was before the comedy “Hot Fuzz” with Simon Pegg kind of broke all of the stereotypes of the “buddy cop” movie. In an age of sensitivity, we kinda want our cops to follow the rules. Will Smith is getting older. So is the “tough cop” motif.

We know that cars don’t randomly blow up when they crash or get shot up. We know that when people don’t follow the rules, people get fired. We know that when police don’t follow orders, court cases get thrown out and perps are back on the streets.

All of these things are now a distraction when you see them on the big screen. They pull me out of the story as I say, “Really?”

And then there’s the really confusing bit. They sing the “Bad Boys” song in the movie. So… does that mean that this universe also has the show “Cops?” That’s what everybody knows it from, right? When the first “Bad Boys” movie came out, it was kind of a nudge-nudge kind of thing. Here were two cops that were also bad boys. Now they’re singing it? Were they also known as bad boys? Did they just think it was a catchy song? If that were the case, they could have picked a different song.

It’s just confusing, which also pulled me out of the film.

It’s an action movie in the vein of all buddy cops movies from the 80’s and 90’s… just 30 years later. If you like that sort of thing.

On a very personal note, I was disappointed that the Martin Lawrence character and his promise to God. No spoilers, though. I didn’t like the way the whole movie handled God and morality. But that is personal. Other Christians might pick it up, as well.


Is it worth 3D, IMAX, or any other special viewing? A lot of stuff blows up and there’s a lot of explosions. That might be fun to see on a bigger screen. Maybe.
Would I see it again? Nah.
Should I rent it? Buy it? Feel free and skip for six months or so. Rent it on Redbox. It would be an entertaining popcorn night.
Is it family safe? The language is rough. They are trying to be “bad boys” and they talk like it. The language feels a bit forced. I don’t wanna be a Steve Rogers, or anything. No sex is shown. It is just mentioned. Women dress provocatively.
Did it have “the look?” It was definitely pretty, but that’s just because it was shot in Miami, not because the filmmakers did anything besides choose the location. They could have picked any beautiful place in the world. No bonus.
Did it have “the feels?” Nope. It was just an action buddy cop movie.

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