From Belgian filmmakers, Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah, Bad Boys for Life is a strong and wildly entertaining third chapter in the buddy-cop franchise, reuniting Will Smith & Martin Lawrence after a seventeen-year hiatus. The bad boy duo crashes into Blu-ray with an outstanding, reference-quality audio & video presentation but a small set of supplements. Nevertheless, the overall package comes recommended for fans of the series.
You can read our full thoughts on Bad Boys for Life in our review of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray HERE.
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment brings Bad Boys for Life to Blu-ray as a two-disc combo pack with a Digital Copy code. A Region Free, BD50 disc sits comfortably opposite a DVD-9 copy and housed inside a blue, eco-elite keepcase. At startup, the disc starts with skippable trailers before switching to the standard menu screen with music and full-motion clips.
Smith & Lawrence ride together one last time through the tough streets of Blu-ray with a phenomenally beautifully, reference-quality 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode. Immediately bursting at the seams with a gloriously energetic and eccentric palette, the action is saturated in hot, vivid oranges and yellows, electrifying blues, lively greens and rich garnet reds. The city, itself, is soaked in lots of neon colors in the buildings and lights, from pinks, violets and lime greens to marigolds, sepias and soft arctic blues. The HD presentation also parades a radiant contrast balance animating every scene with intensely brilliant, pitch-perfect whites and crisply glowing highlights. Likewise, black levels are continuously inky-rich in the clothing, true in the various weapons and a satiny raven in the hair while shadow details maintain excellent visibility in the darkest corners of the frame.
Presented in its original 2.39:1 aspect ratio, the freshly-minted transfer boasts razor-sharp definition from beginning to end, exposing every nook and cranny inside the AMMO office, Armando's dock hideout and in the damp, decaying Hidalgo Palace. Every hair in Rita and Kelly's hairdo is distinct, every whisker in the men discrete and every thread in the clothing clear-cut. The fast-paced action sequences even remain striking to behold where viewers can plainly make out the smallest scatch in the vehicles, the individual plumes of fiery explosions and the tiniest bit of debris littering the screen. Facial complexions appear healthy and accurately rendered to the hot southern climate while revealing every pore, wrinkle and negligible blemish in the entire cast. (Video Rating: 96/100)
Bad Boys shenanigans erupt on the screen equipped with an outstanding, demo-worthy DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack that'll have fans cheering with the heroes: "Ride together, die together."
Without delay, the third installment opens with the chaotic insanity of Mike and Marcus racing through the streets of Maimi as the sirens are heard blaring all around the listening area. Those are joined by the echo of tires screeching in the surrounds, helicopters soaring from the sides to the fronts and finally, the racket of a busy hospital. When things are calmer, birds are chirping in the distance, the commotion of a bustling bar and street fill the room, and electronic noises from AMMO's high-tech gear enliven the on-screen action. However, the best demo moment, hands down, is the climactic shootout in the Hidalgo Palace where bullets ricochet in every direction, debris rains down everywhere, water discretely drips from every corner and a helicopter flies overhead, generating a convincingly immersive 360° soundfield.
Meanwhile, the front channels are continuously busy with the hustle and commotion of the city. Whether it is birds flawlessly panning across the screen or the loud crash of property being destroyed, imaging maintains a wide, spacious feel while an extensive, dynamic and varied mid-range exhibits detailed clarity and excellent separation during the loudest, ear-piercing segments. Vocals remain distinct and precise amid the bonkers, deafening mayhem. The low-end is especially impressive and terrifically robust, sending of couch-shaking waves throughout the room with authoritative weight while also providing the music with a pounding presence. (Audio Rating: 96/100)
Bad Boys for Life, the third installment in the buddy-cop franchise, may not be as good as the first movie, but this next chapter in the Will Smith & Martin Lawrence action series comes pretty darn close and offers a step-up over its predecessor. Taking over directing duties from Micheal Bay, Belgian filmmakers Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah gleefully ride into melodrama territory to give the detective duo some weight and heart, building some anticipation for a fourth episode. But whatever you're thoughts on the movie, the bad boy cops crash into Blu-ray with a demo-worthy video and a reference-quality DTS-HD soundtrack. With a small but decent set of supplements, the overall UHD package comes recommended.