Grade: B+… Bad Boys for Life delivers a very explosive “Michael Bay-esque” experience, and that is a very good thing.
Back in 1995, Michael Bay’s Bad Boys franchise began. I was 12 at the time and really wanted to see it. Of course, similar to my Terminator 2 story, I was too young to view it because of the R rating. I was, once again, excited for a movie I could never see for the foreseeable future. I had to wait for Bad Boys to hit HBO. Once it did, I was finally able to bask in the over the top action sequences, explosions, and comedy Michael Bay is known for and I loved it.
Now that I think about it, Bad Boys was probably the first Michael Bay movie I saw. Eight years later, in 2003, Bay made Bad Boys II. It was a fun movie that felt just like the first movie. Jump to 2020, seventeen years later, we get a surprise reboot of the franchise with Bad Boys for Life.
This time around, Michael Bay is not at the helm of the franchise, but Bay does have a cameo in the movie to watch out for. Directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah step in and do a great job of delivering a very similar experience that the fans of the franchise have been waiting for, explosions and all.
Talking about the plot of Bad Boys for Life is somewhat tricky to explain without spoiling a few surprises in the movie. What can be said is that Detective Mike Lowrey (played by Will Smith) and Detective Marcus Burnett (played by Martin Lawrence) are back together in Miami for one last job because this job is personal to Lowrey.
If you’re a fan of the franchise, you will feel right at home with Bad Boys for Life. There are a good amount of car chases, explosions, gun fights, and even fist fights to keep you on the edge of your seat as the detectives do their job. It also goes without saying that Martin Lawrence does a great job of making you laugh the whole way through the two hour and three minute run time. The airplane scene had me, and the entire audience, laughing extremely hard! Will Smith did a great job as Lowrey, the more serious of the two detectives. Smith will make you laugh too, but Lawrence has the majority of the comedic lines.
The two aspects of Bad Boys for Life that were incredible were the look and cinematography. The movie primarily takes place in Miami, but sometimes jumps to Mexico City. Both locations were absolutely beautiful. The neon lights of Miami and the natural beauty of Mexico City were simply a feast for the eyes on an enormous IMAX screen. It is art and it is not to be missed. Your eyes will thank you.
Usually, with great visuals comes great sound. The IMAX sound system was cranked and it helped to deliver a truly engrossing experience. You felt as if you were on every car chase and you could almost feel every bullet whizzing by you in the gun fights.
I highly recommend rounding up your best buds to see this funny and entertaining “buddy cop” movie. Bad Boys for Life is one ride you do not want to miss!