Bad Boys For Life (2020) A Review

Will Smith is here playing the kind of character he is best at playing.  But is it time for him to take his on-screen partners advice and retire from the action genre?



DIRECTOR:  Adil El Arbi (as Adil), Bilall Fallah (as Bilall)

STARRING:  Will Smith, Martin Lawrence and Vanessa Hudgens

SCREENPLAY:  Chris Bremner (screenplay), Peter Craig (screenplay)

GENRE:  Action Comedy

RUNTIME:  123 Minutes

Reviewed by Pearl

★★★ 3 Stars


I am pretty much a newcomer to this franchise.  I only watched moves one and two earlier this week. And while they were plenty entertaining they didn’t blow me away.  And this third instalment in the franchise is just more of the same.  We have a new director, and some fresh faces, but the majority of this is same, old same old I am afraid.


After a Drive by shooting puts him in the hospital original ‘Bad Boy’ Mike Lowrey is out for revenge.  The only difference is that 25 years on, his best friend and partner Marcus Burnett has retired, so Mike is on his own.  Kind of.  He teams up with trendy new team AMMO, to try and bring down an old adversary from Mikes past who is hiding a life-changing secret.


Even without Michael Bay at the helm of this film, there are still more over the top car chases and gratuitous violence than you can shake a stick at.  And while those car chases may be beautifully shot and the fight scenes lovingly choreographed, a film needs more then tat to keep it afloat.  But I guess it is the action sequences that people come to see and in that regard I guess it delivers.  And it gets going right from the very first moments.  Even if it is all just a set up for a comedic scene.


And I think was the main issue I had with this film.  It had too muchcomedy.  Will Smith was being his usual smooth self, and Martin Lawrence seemed to just be along for the ride, there as little more then comedy relief.  Continuous, unrelenting, Comedy Relief.  There were definitely 5 or 6 too many ‘We are too old for this shit’ jokes made and it got tired very quick.


The fresh faces in the form of Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig and Charles Melton were an interesting addition.  Doing little more then serving to prove that maybe Will Smith actually is a little too old to be playing this game any more.  But they did try awfully hard to make them uber trendy. Even Vanessa Hudgens’ hairstyle screamed ‘edgy’ and I think there was more they could have done with those characters then use them as the butt of jokes for the other two.


I got exactly what I expected.  Corny humour, over the top violence and a thin predictable plot that we have seen done in Action movies a hundred times.  It was fine to watch for two hours, although I did find my attention wavering every now and then, but is not one that I will be revisiting.


Bad Boys For Life is Out in UK Cinemas Now.

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