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Category: Action

MOVIE REVIEW: Bad Boys for Life

Vitals

Release Date: 17 January 2020 (USA)
Studio: Sony Pictures
Official Site: https://www.badboysforlife.movie/
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)

Review

“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.

Modifiers

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.

MOVIE REVIEW: Spies in Disguise

6.5 (Must-See) Fun for the Whole Family


This article is also published on Medium.com

Summary

Animated. Will Smith voices a super-spy who is transformed into a pigeon and has to clear his name after being framed. Tom Holland plays the young sidekick inventor.

Release Date: 25 December 2019 (USA)
Studio: Blue Sky Studios
Director: Nick Bruno and Troy Quane
Writer: Brad Copeland and Lloyd Taylor
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1h 42min
Starring: Will Smith, Tom Holland, Reba McEntire View Full Cast
Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure, Spy
View Official Site

Review

Base Score: 4 (Pretty Good)

Finally, here is an animated movie that performs exactly as advertised. I saw the trailers, I thought it looked funny, and it lived up to my expectations exactly. There was no bait-and-switch. It was cool. It was funny. It was family-friendly.

What you see from the trailer is what you get.

The comedy of the movie appeals to kids (potty humor) while being tolerable to adults. I’m sure on the car ride home, kids will gleefully say, “Wasn’t that funny when you see that guy’s butt?” You can laugh and realize that this will likely be forgotten before the next kid’s movie comes out. There is nothing horrific that would be inappropriate for younger views.

What was refreshing is that there was some subtle humor that only adults would pick up on. That’s not to say that the jokes were “adult,” but that they were easy to miss. I chuckled under my breath at moments the kids behind me missed. I even snorted out loud in a too-quiet theater. Does my laugh sound like that?

It was good stuff. It is highly recommended. The modifiers below make this a must-see. Bravo, creators.

Modifiers

Is it worth 3D, IMAX, or any other special viewing? Probably not. I saw the 2D version on a normal screen, and I didn’t feel I was missing anything.

Would I see it again? Yes, I think I would. If someone hadn’t seen it, I would go to the theater again. If it was on video, I would sit through it again. There wasn’t anything annoying in it. If a kid really took to it and I had to watch it 20 times… that’s what a cell phone is for. (+.5)

Should I rent it? Buy it? It was a great film, but you could save some coin to watch it on the small screen. This one would hold up to multiple viewings, so if the kids request it, buy it. (+.5)

Is it family safe? It is rare nowadays to have a family-safe movie. There is some low-brow humor, but nothing objectionable. Hey, it makes the kids laugh, right? I didn’t notice any language. (+.5)

Did it have “the look?” Animation has gotten to the point where a realistic image is easy to pull off. Well, maybe not easy, but technically possible. Then, the trick is to make something that is visually interesting. Something will style. Like a comic book. It’s not supposed to look natural. It’s supposed to look fantastic. This movie looks fantastic. (+.5)

Did it have “the feels?” Yes, this had some strong “triumphant” moments. I was brought to tears at one point. (+.5)

Score Breakdowns

Base Score: 4 + Modifiers: 2.5 = 6.5 (Must-See)

Spies in Disguise movie poster