Review | ‘Bad Boys For Life’ is all about the car chases and gun fights

Bad Boys for Life | Dir: Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah | Opens Jan 16 | ★ ★ ★ ½ 

Seventeen years after their last outing Martin Lawrence and Will Smith return as cop buddy duo Marcus Burnett and Mike Lowrey. If all you remember from their first two films is car chases and gun fights and Tea Leoni, that’s okay because that pretty much sums up the first film.

Bad Boys in 1995 updated the buddy cop movie for a new generation, treading in the path forged by film like Lethal Weapon, Running Scared, 48 Hours, Tango and Cash, and The Enforcer. Lawrence’s character Burnett is a married man with kids, while his partner Lowery still enjoys the single life.  After their initial outing, the duo returned in 1997 for another adventure.

Almost two decades later we rediscover the pair, still partners, still fighting crime on the streets of Miami. Not much as changed, Burnett is still a family man, and Lowery still works his way through a string of failed romances, but maybe it’s time for the ageing cops to move on to the next stage of life.

Their world is upended when a Mexican crime matriarch escapes from prison and begins hunting down the people who put her and her late husband behind bars, this includes one half of the Miami crime fighting duo.

The plot really isn’t that important, it’s purpose it to link together a series of sensational gun fights, car chases, martial arts battles, and enormous explosions.

There’s no shortage of any of these, and it’s a fun and at time hilarious journey. The film certainly has it’s laugh-out-loud moment and makes the most of Lawrence and Smith’s camaraderie.

It’s a fun and enjoyable film, the explosions have never been bigger and the car chases have never been sillier.

Bad Boys for Life is similar to many films where a much loved cast return many years later, and like the later films of franchises like Die Hard, Lethal Weapon and Beverly Hills Cop, it’s nice to see them again, but there’s a little voice in the back of your head wishing that maybe they should have left it alone.

Graeme Watson