It feels like forever since Bad Boys For Life was first announced, but the wait is almost over: Will Smith and Martin Lawrence return to theaters as Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett this coming Friday. In the run up, the first critic reviews have started to roll in, and we're excited — and somewhat surprised — to reveal that the reactions are actually pretty great.
At the moment Bad Boys For Life currently holds a very red 91 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and is being praised in reviews for delivering a fun, nostalgic treat. One review even asks for a fourth installment in the franchise.
Watch the trailer below and keep scrolling to find the critic reactions.
It'll make you nostalgic
The threequel not only makes up for 2003’s woeful “Bad Boys 2” but also interestingly showcases Smith and Lawrence’s longtime Miami cops as vulnerable heroes who haven’t lost their knack for wanton destruction or offing bad guys yet have to deal in a real way with the consequences of their careers.
The Hollywood Reporter
It’s impressive and enjoyable to behold how easily Smith and Lawrence slide back into these characters and actually make them more accessible and fun to be around than before. Mike gives Marcus plenty of crap about riding into the sunset while maintaining that he’s “going to be running down criminals until I’m a hundred.” No sooner does he make that joke, however, than he’s gunned down, taking three bullets in the chest. He barely survives, but once he recovers a bit the two men join together again, along with a unit of cohorts, to track down a savage killer who seems especially ruthless.
It's a lot of fun
While 'Bad Boys for Life' has a completely asinine story, generic action, predictable plot beats, moronic dialogue and truly reprehensible politics, I still had a good time. to simply dismiss 'Bad Boys for Life' for being too far-fetched and violent is to close yourself off from its very real charms. There are plenty of cop-loving action movies that are reprehensible. Lawrence and Smith have that self-fulfilling X Factor.
Can we have a 'Bad Boys 4'?
As an extremely casual 'Bad Boys' fan, I have never for one second cared whether they made a third film. Now that it’s here, I find myself genuinely shocked to announce I kind of want a fourth — provided they could bring back this creative team. Why not? They ride together, they die together. 'Bad Boys' for life.
If this is the last 'Bad Boys' movie with Smith and Lawrence, then the series goes out on a high note but leaning into what works while still adapting to the current action landscape. Arguably, a series about two Miami cops taking down bad guys has been better than it had any right to be, but it managed to break away from being a 'Lethal Weapo'n clone and do its own thing on the strength of its leads and the cartoonish set pieces. Franchises don’t really end these days (the AMMO squad is positioned as the next generation of “Bad Boys”), but 'Bad Boys for Life' isn’t a bad way for Mike and Marcus to ride into the sunset.
It's emotional trash (in a good way)
Will Smith acts with his old fast-break buoyancy, and he looks ageless, but he plays Mike with a harder edge than before; that gives the film its tiny semblance of emotional stakes. At first, you may think that Martin Lawrence has lost his mojo, but he’s just biding his time. 'Bad Boys for Life' should find an audience, because it builds on its predecessors to become something that’s easy to give into. It’s high-powered trash with a (slight) human touch.
It’s all silly in that very Michael Bay way (he actually makes a small, winky cameo early on), and in some moments genuinely thrilling. It’s also gleefully, almost cartoonishly violent — piling up bodies as casually as 'Call of Duty,' and letting the camera linger while they bleed. Which is all expected; banter and bullets is the action-movie MO, and the duo at the center of it hardly seem to have to stretch to spread their bickering charm on thick; particularly in a great, absurdly comic scene on an airplane.
Bad Boys For Life lands in theaters nationwide January 17.