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Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
Bad Boys for Life (Blu-ray) (2020)

Bad Boys for Life (Blu-ray) (2020)

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Released 29-Apr-2020

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Comedy Deleted Scenes
Featurette-Making Of-Ride or Die: Making Bad Boys for Life
Featurette-It's About Damn Time
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Partners in Crime
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Epic Stunts
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Easter Eggs
Unseen Footage-Stephen A. Smith Audition
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2020
Running Time 123:58
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Adil El Arbi
Bilall Fallah
SONY Pictures
Universal Sony
Starring Will Smith
Martin Lawrence
Vanessa Hudgens
Alexander Ludwig
Charles Melton
Paola Nuñez
Kate del Castillo
Nicky Jam
Joe Pantoliano
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI $24.95 Music Lorne Balfe

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 (1509Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
Italian DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 (1509Kb/s)
Japanese DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 (1509Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes, Sony phones and cameras prominently appear
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    17 years after the heavily criticised but still enormously entertaining Bad Boys II, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence finally return with 2020's long-delayed Bad Boys for Life. With Michael Bay stepping away for this sequel, Belgian directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah enter the fray, aided by screenwriters Chris Bremner, Peter Craig (The Town) and Joe Carnahan (Narc). Rather than a stale, lazy rehash of established franchise tropes, Bad Boys for Life gives the brand some life-saving reinvention, introducing unexpected storytelling maturity while also taking the narrative seriously for once. It's definitely a Bad Boys movie, as the new filmmaking team maintain the franchise's longstanding proclivity for violence, profanity, bantering, and other masculine virtues, but this third instalment is more good-natured and likeable, thanks in large part to Bay's creative departure. The result is a welcome and refreshing surprise, surpassing all reasonable expectations with confidence.

    After Miami detective Marcus Burnett (Lawrence) witnesses the birth of his first grandchild, he begins growing weary of his age, and plans to retire. But Marcus' partner, Mike Lowrey (Smith), is not ready to retire or settle down, refusing to acknowledge his age despite needing to dye his grey goatee. Meanwhile, when criminal Isabel Aretas (Kate del Castillo) breaks out of prison with the help of her son, Armando (Jacob Scipio), she begins planning her revenge for the death of her cartel kingpin husband. Under orders from Isabel, Armando begins targeting the officials who were responsible for bringing down the Aretas cartel, including Mike. When Mike survives an assassination attempt, he wants justice, seeking to convince his blustery boss, Captain Howard (Joe Pantoliano), to let Miami's "Bad Boys" find out who tried to kill him. With Marcus back in action for one last ride, the pair join up with AMMO (Advanced Miami Metro Operations), a new tech-driven police taskforce led by Mike's ex-girlfriend, Rita (Paola Nuñez).

    As much fun as it is, story was not a primary (or even secondary) concern for Bay's Bad Boys II, which concentrated more on comedic vignettes, savage bloodletting, and over-the-top action mayhem. But with Bad Boys for Life, the story - while still relatively familiar - is surprisingly thoughtful and character-based, which demonstrates that this is not merely a lazy cash-in. This third instalment is about age, with Marcus seeking to retire and live peacefully with his family, while Mike is determined to live in the moment, continuing to gun down bad guys and sleep with random women for as long as possible. Astutely, the screenplay gives the pair actual dimension, with Mike and Marcus forced to confront their mortality, perceptions of faith, and the consequences of their actions. Additionally, the world has changed considerably since Bad Boys II, with modern law enforcement evolving towards non-lethal weaponry and tech-heavy investigative methods; thus, the titular pair's reckless, trigger-happy ways are no longer tolerated. Bad Boys for Life heavily leans into this dynamic, as Mike and Marcus reluctantly try to adapt to AMMO's modus operandi, though they never balk at the prospect of a violent shootout.

    Fortunately, Bad Boys for Life continues the series with an MA15+ rating, which allows for impactful violence and salty dialogue. Uproarious comedic moments pepper the movie, including snappy banter and recurring jokes, in addition to some welcome fan service, most notably in the form of two cameos that will have fans grinning ear to ear. However, while Bad Boys for Life earns big laughs, the tone is more dramatic on the whole, with a real sense of peril and higher stakes than ever. The tonal shifts are not always successful, and the complex story machinations mean that it's not as purely fun as Bad Boys II, but the material's sincerity is a massive advantage, serving to elevate this sequel above more run-of-the-mill action films. In addition, with a generous $90 million budget at their disposal (which is still less than Bad Boys II's goliath $130 million price tag in 2003), directors Adil and Bilall adeptly put their own aesthetic stamp on the production, with a style that's influenced by Bay, but without his extreme idiosyncrasies (i.e. no shots lingering on female body parts, and intense over-editing). Action sequences are coherent and frenetic, while the visuals are unfailingly slick throughout, thanks to Robrecht Heyvaert's polished cinematography. Luckily, the production relies on old-fashioned stunt-work and practical effects as often as possible, which gives the action more immediacy. Additionally, with such a comparatively modest budget, the action is not ridiculously over-the-top like a Fast & Furious flick. This restraint is a real benefit, as it's a thrill to witness grounded yet stylish action set-pieces in a cinematic climate dominated by superhero blockbusters. Another strength is Lorne Balfe's score, which resurrects the recognisable Bad Boys theme and pleasingly accompanies the selection of hip-hop tracks that pepper the soundtrack.

    The main appeal of the Bad Boys flicks is Smith and Lawrence, who once again bring their 'A' game to the material - it's a joy watching them on-screen. Despite the 17-year gap, the pair slip back into their roles with confidence, maintaining a razor-sharp, witty rapport which keeps the movie compelling in between the action scenes. Smith and Lawrence proficiently handle the more dramatic material as well, which makes their respective characters feel surprisingly real. Furthermore, one of the most legitimately surprising aspects of Bad Boys for Life is the AMMO crew. Bringing in a new-age generation is such a trite cliché which rarely works, but smart casting and writing renders them a pleasing asset; the AMMO squad is charming, and share a fun dynamic with their elders. Alexander Ludwig is a particular standout as the tech guy with a dark past, while Charles Melton ably holds his own trading sharp banter with Smith. Hell, even Vanessa Hudgens (late of High School Musical) is more tolerable than expected. Meanwhile, it's great to see Pantoliano back in action as the long-suffering captain, and his scenes with Smith and Lawrence are a constant delight. Also effective are the villains - Jacob Scipio and Kate del Castillo come across as genuinely threatening and sinister, instead of perfunctory.

    It doesn't break any new ground in the genre, and it is a tad too long, but Bad Boys for Life is a consistently entertaining and confident continuation of the fan-favourite franchise, showing that some long-delayed sequels genuinely get it right. Admittedly, devout Bad Boys fans might have preferred a juvenile, over-the-top, gleefully offensive follow-up in the same vein as Bad Boys II, but such a sequel would only deliver more of the same. Instead, Bad Boys for Life displays surprising franchise growth; for once, there's heart to complement the rousing action sequences and comedy, and it feels less mean-spirited that its immediate predecessor. It is also a satisfying watch for audiences who miss the bygone action genre heyday, when big-budget action flicks leaned into their adult rating. Be sure to stick around for two additional moments during the end credits: there's a scene which sets up Bad Boys 4, as well as an extra joke.

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Transfer Quality


    The first box office smash-hit of 2020 (and still the highest grossing film of the year, as of May 2020), Bad Boys for Life debuts on Blu-ray courtesy of Universal Sony Home Entertainment. Framed at its original aspect ratio of 2.39:1, this AVC-encoded, 1080p high definition presented is placed on a dual-layered BD-50, resulting in an average video bitrate of 25.91 Mbps. Bad Boys for Life was shot with a variety of high-end digital cameras, including the Sony CineAlta Venice and the Arri Alexa SXT, and it translates to a predictably excellent-looking Blu-ray disc. Indeed, the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray is still superior thanks to the improved resolution and High Dynamic Range, but I don't have many significant complaints about this 1080p transfer, which is stable, razor-sharp, colourful, and textured from start to finish.

    Whereas the first two Bad Boys movies were shot on 35mm film and look noticeably grainy on home video, Bad Boys for Life appears exceptionally "clean," and, consequently, those who dislike grain will absolutely love this one. Indeed, there is scarcely any grain or noise to speak of, aside from some moments under low light (for instance, Mike meeting Isabel at the 98-minute mark), but such instances are so slight and fleeting that most people probably won't notice it, and it's not distracting. Bad Boys for Life looks sharp as a tack in every scene, with refined facial hair and excellent object delineation. In facial close-ups, you can make out every whisker and strand of hair, and textures look consistently superb on clothing. Especially in well-lit exterior scenes, the textural precision is outstanding. Additionally, in keeping with the Michael Bay aesthetic from the previous movies, Bad Boys for Life is a colourful movie, with a warm palette heavy on yellow and orange, while neon colours dominate nightclub scenes. In establishing shots of Miami, meanwhile, the water exhibits beautiful blue tones, and it's all handled nicely by the 1080p encode. Black levels are respectable, too, and contrast is usually strong, resulting in agreeable image depth.

    The transfer occasionally struggles in wider shots, which generally appear softer and slightly less refined, while the limited colour space is apparent from time to time. Indeed, there is only so much which can be done with SDR 1080p, and I found myself missing the definitive pop afforded by HDR while watching the disc, especially after having witnessed the stunning 4K Blu-ray. Plus, due to the bright and colourful cinematography, several scenes look blown out (especially in skies, outside windows, or when sunlight reflects off water), and specular detail is lacking during shots of explosions or gunfire. Shadow detail is normally extremely good, but it does slightly falter in some shots, with faces occasionally looking a touch smeary, and with some shots lacking general tightness. But these are the only shortcomings of an otherwise excellent transfer, which lives up to Sony's reputation as one of the best in the business in terms of image quality. As per usual for a Sony joint, the encoding is absolutely immaculate, with no signs of unnecessary compression. The presentation is free of video artefacts - no aliasing, banding, crush, or anything else to spoil the exceptional image. There's no macroblocking, either, as the fleeting instances of noise look nicely refined. All things considered, this is a great Blu-ray.

    Subtitles are included in English, English SDH, Italian and Japanese. I couldn't detect any issues with any of the English subtitle tracks.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    As per usual for Sony, Bad Boys for Life comes to Blu-ray with a lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, while the object-based DTS:X track is saved for the 4K Blu-ray. The disc also contains English descriptive audio, as well as DTS-HD MA 5.1 tracks in Italian and Japanese, for those interested. I know that audiophiles will cry foul about only getting a 5.1 mix on Blu-ray, but it sounds excellent for the most part, leaving little room for improvement. Thanks to the lossless encoding, the track is pristine from start to finish, exhibiting superb clarity, frequent dynamics and top-notch subwoofer activity, and it'll give your home theatre equipment a great workout. First things first, there are no issues with prioritisation, as the dialogue is comprehensible in every environment and during the most frenetic of action sequences. I did notice that the dialogue is not quite as clear when Rita talks to Mike on the balcony at the 30-minute mark, but that appears to be a shortcoming of the original on-set recording.

    The surround channels frequently come alive to deliver ambience as well as the music (both the songs and Lorne Balfe's excellent original score), and the track's dynamic range never seems lacking. Unsurprisingly, the mix really comes to life during action set-pieces, such as the gunfight at the 41-minute mark - as the sequence unfolds, sounds of gunfire, ricocheting and bullet hits are isolated to certain speakers, with frequent separation and panning effects. Likewise, during the climactic shootout in the mansion, sounds of gunfire as well as flames come from all around, making for an immersive watch. This is an aggressive audio mix, to boot, with low-frequency effects to underscore each gunshot and explosion - just see the outstanding film's car/motorcycle chase, or the explosion as the helicopter crashes during the climax. LFE is apparent whenever somebody is hit with a bullet, resulting in a blood spray, and the music also frequently engages the subwoofer. When Jenkins (Booker Grassie's accountant) hits the ground after being tasered at 64:03, there's noticeable LFE. Engine roars also engage the subwoofer, sounding deep and impactful. I was unable to detect any encoding anomalies, as there are no sync issues, drop-outs, hissing, popping, or anything else. The DTS:X track on the 4K Blu-ray seems a little bit more precise, with improved dynamics, but this is the only shortcoming of an otherwise superb 5.1 track.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    There's about an hour of video material to watch here, which is enjoyable and of good value. It's a shame, however, that there's no audio commentary.

Deleted Scenes (HD; 8:11 total)

    Eight deleted scenes are included here, which can be viewed individually or via a "Play All" function. All of these scenes are virtually finished and polished (there are no timecodes or anything), though there is some incomplete VFX in the alternate ending. Most of these are inconsequential, though I got a few laughs out of "Spa Receptionist."

Outtakes & Bloopers (HD; 2:47)

    A customary collection of line flubs, muck-ups, bantering, and other on-set goofery. I had a good laugh watching this, and it's nice to watch a blooper reel that doesn't bleep out the profanity.

Ride or Die: Making Bad Boys for Life (HD; 13:51)

    Here we have an all-too-brief behind-the-scenes featurette about the making of the movie, which runs over the history of the production, recruiting the new directors, shooting with Smith and Lawrence back together, recreating the feeling of Miami while filming in Atlanta, and more. The extra briefly runs over the shooting of a few action sequences, including the car/motorcycle chase. This is an entertaining featurette, but it still feels overly EPK.

It's About D*** Time (HD; 6:44)

    Rather than an extra about getting Bad Boys for Life made after all this time, this retrospective featurette is about the history of the Bad Boys franchise. Interviewees run over the genesis of the first movie, which was originally set to star Jon Lovitz and Dana Carvey, and there are also discussions about memorable scenes and moments.

Partners in Crime (HD; 16:08 total)

    Here we have three more behind-the-scenes segments, which can be viewed individually or via a "Play All" function.

Epic Stunts (HD; 9:12)

    This behind-the-scenes extra takes a closer look at the stunts and action sequences. The car/motorcycle chase gets a lot of the focus, but other scenes are also explored. We get to see the practical effects, such as the helicopter, as well as how the team intercut the stunt doubles with the principal actors. This is extremely interesting and informative.

Easter Eggs (HD; 6:38)

   The last behind-the-scenes featurette on the disc sees directors Adil and Bilall talking about the Easter Eggs and references that they put into Bad Boys for Life. They go over the Michael Bay cameo (the director was even put in charge of the shot he features in), several visual homages to the previous movies, bringing back Dennis Greene as Reggie, and more. Including the classic Bad Boys theme was also one of the directors' demands. It's clear these guys are big Bad Boys fans, and their energy and enthusiasm is infectious.

Stephen A. Smith Audition (HD; 1:20)

   This is a tongue-in-cheek promo which was released online to promote the movie. There are some laughs to be had here.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Supplementary material is the same on all editions worldwide. Buy local.


    Bad Boys is one of my all-time favourite action franchises, and I've watched the first two movies more times than I can count. Bad Boys for Life does not disappoint, as it continues the series with renewed energy and creativity, while delivering the type of exciting action and laugh-out-loud humour that we come to expect from these movies.

    No surprises here - Sony's Blu-ray is a winner from top to bottom, with exceptional video and audio despite a few minor shortcomings. There's also a satisfying collection of insightful special features, to boot. The 4K UHD Blu-ray is still superior, but this is a great disc. Highly recommended.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Callum Knox (I studied biology)
Friday, May 01, 2020
Review Equipment
DVDSony UBP-X700 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player, using HDMI output
DisplayLG OLED65E6T. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 2160p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationSamsung Series 7 HT-J7750W
SpeakersSamsung Tall Boy speakers, 7.1 set-up

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