Moderator / Reviewer
- Apr 4, 2017
My AV System
- Preamp, Processor or Receiver
- Yamaha TRS-7850 Atmos Receiver
- Other Amp
- Peavy IPR 3000 for subs
- Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
- Sony ubx800 4K UHD Player
- Front Speakers
- Cheap Thrills Mains
- Center Channel Speaker
- Cheap Thrills Center
- Surround Speakers
- Volt 10 Surrounds
- Surround Back Speakers
- Volt 10 Rear Surrounds
- Rear Height Speakers
- Volt 6 Overheads
- 2x Marty subs (full size with SI 18's)
- Video Display Device
- Sony 85 inch X950H FALD TV
With Covid-19 messing with supply chains around the world and keeping people at home full time, we’ve had to make some adjustments in a few reviews for the month and take on some digital reviews instead of physical for the time being. Some we’ll be able to supplement with the 4K UHD and/or Blu-ray review in a few weeks, but as some supply houses are shut down due to state lock downs, we’ve made a few deals to bring you the reviews in digital form for the time being, with Bad Boys For Life being the first one.
Ahhhh, Bad Boys. You can’t be a fan of 90s action movies without seeing one of Michael Bay’s biggest action hits of the decade. Bad Boys was tight and streamlined for a Michael Bay movie, adding just enough of his penchant for cheeky dialog and stupidly large explosions, while keeping it much more traditional and straight forward. After that success he and stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence kicked it up a notch with the RIDICULOUSLY over the top Bad Boys II (which arguably had one of the best freeway chase scenes outside of The Matrix Reloaded). Then….nothing. For years fans have been asking if Will and Martin would ever get together for one last ride together, and for years both stars have said that they were working on it (Mostly Smith from what I could gather). Rumors had it that the movie would “start soon” over the last 5 years or so, but it wasn’t until last year when it was finally confirmed that we would ACTUALLY be getting a 3rd film in the Bad Boys series.
Sadly, we don’t get Michael Bay, as Bay has moved on to other projects. This part actually kind of broke my heart, as Michael Bay’s fingerprints were ALL over the first two films, and was a sort of honorary co-star in the movie if you think about it. His flavor, his style, and his over the top panache kind of set the stage for Will and Martin to showcase the amazing chemistry they displayed in the previous two films. As such, without Bay, it’s almost like we’re missing a major star (although Michael Bay DOES make a physical cameo as the announcer at the wedding part way through the film). Newcomers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah have taken over the directorial reins this time, and they actually do a good job. They’re not Michael Bay and don’t have his innate flair, but they try and keep the feeling of Bad Boys alive and well.
It’s been 17 years since Bad Boys II, and the Bad Boys themselves are still doing what they do best, being Bad Boys. Mike (Will Smith) is still kicking butt and taking names, but Marcus (Martin Lawrence) really DOES want to retire finally. His daughter is getting married to Ricky (the teenager that Mike and Marcus razzed in the second film ironically enough) and the stress of being a police officer for as many decades as he has been has finally worn him down. The last straw is when Mike is shot through the chest by a mysterious gunman and legally declared dead for a short period of time. Enough is enough, and the indecisive Marcus finally decides that he’s done being a bad boy.
Bad Boys For Life was a movie that I went into with some trepidation. I mean, I love LOOVE the first two films, and without Michael Bay I was worried that the 3rd film would be a flop. Especially coming 17 years after the last film, and a full 25 years after the first one. Well, I was actually pleasantly surprise. Bad Boys For Life isn’t the first two films, and it actually works that way. Adil and Billal play the two characters off as being middle aged men now, and just working with that. Instead of being Bad Boys all the time as one character says, they’re trying to be good…….men. Mike and Marcus are no longer the carefree bad boys they once were (even though they still give Captain Howard need to suck down heartburn medication), and they’re winding down in their life. Marcus is ready for ACTUAL retirement, and their bones and joints can’t handle the wear and tear of constantly kicking doors in and jumping off of buildings. Even a fight early on in the movie has Mike getting his tail handed to him by the shooter, and taking his licks. Still, the heard and soul of the characters are still there, and the maturity they gain from years and years of experience isn’t keeping them down. Guns blaze, Mike is still trying to be a pimp, and Marcus is praying to God to get him through the day
The tone and feel of the movie IS different, and I can’t honestly say that I don’t miss Michael Bay. The man may have given us some horribly cheesy films over the years, but he knows fun and mayhem like no other. Even though Billal and Edil do their best, they can’t mimic the tone and hilarious insanity that Bay infused into Bad Boys and Bad Boys II. Bad Boys For Life is fun, action filled, and well crafted, but as a life long fan of the first two movies, the difference in directors can be startling at times. HOWEVER, that part is mitigated due to the fact that Will Smith and Martin Lawrence’s chemistry makes it so that it’s almost like the two did the second film last year instead of nearly 2 decades ago. Lawrence has pretty much retired from acting, but came back to do this last ride with Smith, and I was shocked at how natural the two still were together. Mike and Marcus are the same men we’ve known for the last 25 years, and while they’ve matured and grown up, the same snappy and comedic energy that they’ve always had is still there front and center. The two men give the movie it’s heart and soul, and while we may have a different director behind the scenes, these men are bad to the bone.
Rated R for strong bloody violence, language throughout, sexual references and brief drug use
• Outtakes and Bloopers
• Ride or Die: Making Bad Boys For Life
• It's About Time
• Partners In Crime: Bad Boys Meet Good Kids
• Partners in Crime: The Bad Guys of Bad Boys
• Partners in Crime: Behind the Scenes with the Directors
• Easter Eggs
• Stephen A. Smith Audition
Bad Boys For Life is a fun action movie that really did surprise me. With a dearth of good action movies the last year or so, it’s nice to see an old school action duo come back to the screen. We don’t have Michael Bay to fuel the insanity, but Will Smith and Martin Lawrence bring the heat….one last time… as the infamous Mike and Marcus. Big booms, big surprises, and a lot of the old samey comfort food that made the first two films hits leaves me giving this one a thumbs up.
Starring: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, Charles Melton, Joe Pantoliano, Kate del Castillo, Paolo Nunez
Directed by: Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah
Written by: Chris Bremner, Peter Craig, Joe Carnahan
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 (Atmos for 4K stream)
Runtime: 124 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: March 31st, 2020
Recommendation: Solid Watch