Film review Bad Boys for Life


Mike Lowery and Marcus Burnett team up with a newly created elite police taskforce to take down an old foe.


‘Bad boy’s Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence), or more aptly the old men as the film often joked, are back in their latest bullet-fuelled adventure, Bad Boys for Life.

The film, which is a distant ‘threequel’ to previous director Michael Bay’s Bad Boys (1995) and Bad Boys II (2003), is Hollywood’s latest attempt at making money off nostalgia by breathing new life into old IP.

The result is hit and miss as Bad Boys for Life will surely please fans of the first two films, with many inside jokes relating to their earlier endeavours, but newcomers to the franchise may wish to steer clear of the over-the-top fan service.

The film’s best selling point remains the 'bromance' between Smith and Lawrence whose charisma and back and forth banter has never wavered.

While some jokes fell flat due to a script that could be best described as laughable, the duo’s onscreen chemistry is one for the ages.

Bad Boys for Life never shies away from the fact its leading men have aged and what once would have been humour at how many women they’ve bedded has been replaced with gags about grey hair, expanding waistlines and cleaning up after grandchildren.

Despite the 25-year gap between this film and the original, several cast members in addition to Lawrence and Smith return. Most notably, Joe Pantoliano, who reprises his role as Captain Howard, the loveable screaming boss who is trying to become more spiritual.

While Pantoliano steals most of the spotlight, the film also introduces several series newcomers including Paola Núñez as Smith’s love interest and the leader of the elite police taskforce AMMO. Núñez is also joined by Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig and Charles Melton, who represent the new generation of bad boys.

The plot in Bad Boys for Life is nothing new, with many of the beats signposted, but I imagine most audiences would not be  buying a ticket for the plot, but rather the action.

On the action front, the film certainly delivers, and there are shootouts, car chases, fist fights and battles aplenty. Unfortunately, the action set pieces never surpass that of the first two films but judged on their own merit are bombastic fun.

Bad Boys for Life will surely please fans of the franchise and there’s enough present with the 'bromance' and action for newcomers to enjoy. Just don’t expect anything more profound than your standard action-comedy.

Final rating: 3/5




Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah.


Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, Charles Melton, Paola Nunez and Joe Pantoliano.

If you like this, try:

Bad Boys, Bad Boys II, Ride Along, Lethal Weapon, Beverley Hills Cop, CHIPs, National Security.

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