I’m not sure the years have been so kind to our Bad Boys. Martin Lawrence hasn’t exactly set the world on fire with titles like Big Momma’s House…and Big Momma’s House 2, while Will Smith seems to have done alright, despite his last two blockbusters (Aladdin and Gemini Man) earning dire reviews. Still, he is an (almost) guaranteed box office draw and Bad Boys For Life sees him back in one of his most iconic roles – Miami Narcotics cop Mike Lowery, as famous for his fashion flair as he is for busting perps. Lawrence reprises his role as Lowery’s reluctant partner Mark Burnett.
In 1995, the original Bad Boys was a commercial success, and the two leads earned praise for their chemistry in spite of a generic buddy cop story that diverted little from flicks like Lethal Weapon and Beverly Hills Cop, offset by a barrage of explosions and a hot chick (Tea Leoni) signatures of Michael Bay’s bombastic approach to filmmaking.
Similarly a 2003 sequel regarded by some as the worst film of that year doubled the first film’s box office takings, indicating that a third film was a matter of not if, but when.
So to 2020’s Bad Boys For Life and I have to say I was blown away by the comedy, the action (albeit extremely violent) and the surprising plot twists and turns. One Bad Boy discovers God, one almost dies, one wants to retire, one wants revenge. And one becomes a Grandad. Amazingly it is extremely relatable for a middle aged audience who regard the previous films with some fondness. BB4L is a film that carries the welcome influence not so much of Bay, but the likes of Deadpool and 21 Jump Street. In parts absurd, but always entertaining, this may just be one of the BEST films of the year. After the enormous disappointments of Rambo 5 and Terminator 6 in 2019, BB4L jumpstarts 2020 with a bang.
4 Stars – “100% Pure Awesome”