Notice: All forms on this website are temporarily down for maintenance. You will not be able to complete a form to request information or a resource. We apologize for any inconvenience and will reactivate the forms as soon as possible.

Content Caution



In Theaters


Home Release Date




Emily Tsiao

Movie Review

Bad boys, bad boys/Whatcha gonna do?/Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?

Answer: Shoot some guns, blow stuff up and engage in a high-speed car chase while exchanging quippy one-liners, most likely. Or at least, that’s what LAPD detectives Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett do.

But after Mike’s struck by a bullet and nearly killed in a drive-by shooting, these bad boys have to reconsider their mantra: “Ride together. Die together.”

Marcus doesn’t want to die. He just welcomed his first grandchild into the world, and he doesn’t want that to be a world full of violence. So he makes a promise to God to hang up his badge and retire if God will spare Mike’s life.

Mike doesn’t want to die either, but he also knows there’s more to the case. The shooting wasn’t just a warning or random occurrence. Someone out there wants him dead and isn’t likely to stop until Mike is buried.

Using that argument, Mike convinces Marcus to trade his recliner and bathrobe for a gun and badge once more to live up to their nicknames: “Bad boys for life.”

Positive Elements

Capt. Howard, Marcus and Mike’s boss, is reluctant to let them investigate the case due to their personal interest. Oh, and their longstanding track record of creating massive amounts of collateral damage, too. However, Howard knows Mike will pursue the case with or without permission, and the captain would rather have some semblance of authority (however thin) over Mike’s actions. So he forces them to team up with AMMO, a tactical division of the police force that focuses on using technology and stealth to apprehend their targets as opposed to relying on brute force alone. (Well, theoretically.)

Mike, who is more accustomed to a barge-in-guns-blazing approach, hates AMMO—and he makes his opinion known to the whole group. However, Marcus likes the idea of having backup. And after the team proves its worth in a few close calls, Mike comes to appreciate the help as well and is relieved when officers arrive at the eleventh hour to help round up the bad guys and save the day.

Marcus and Mike obviously have a friendship and history that stretches back decades. And even though they occasionally cross the line with harsh comments, they usually make up pretty quickly and stand by each other when the bullets start whizzing past them.

After a man discovers a son he never knew he had, he vows to be a part of his son’s life. A coach defends his decision to bench a young athlete after the student was disrespectful towards him.

Spiritual Elements

Marcus prays in a hospital chapel, asking God to spare Mike’s life. Marcus admits that he has been ashamed to pray since his job often requires him to kill people; he asks God for another chance and promises to retire.

After Marcus agrees to help Mike investigate who shot him, Marcus tries to keep his promise to God. He avoids fighting and refuses to shoot or even hold a gun, often at his own expense. When he and Mike repeatedly find themselves in kill-or-be-killed situations, Marcus begs God for a sign indicating whether he should join the fray or not. Eventually, Mike convinces him that God has provided him with weapons in his time of need to slay God’s enemies—just as David did to Goliath—and Marcus agrees to defend himself and his partner.

When Mike talks about intentionally killing someone, Marcus warns him that doing so will send him to hell (which Mike admits he doesn’t believe in). Marcus cautions his friend to not let darkness swallow him whole and also talks about using his heart to reach people’s souls.

A woman prays before a shrine dedicated to Santa Muerte and credits the Mexican deity with sparing a man’s life. She is also identified as a witch and is often seen chanting. (No witchcraft actually takes place, but someone does joke about what her powers can do.) Later, someone also jokes that her son was a “warlock baby” who fed on blood.

Marcus wears a cross in several scenes. A member of the clergy wearing a cross performs a wedding ceremony. Gospel music is heard playing in a car. “Amazing Grace” is played on bagpipes at a funeral. Marcus listens to a self-help audio book that focuses on God’s healing. Someone tells a Buddhist parable.

Sexual Content

After his grandson is born, Marcus voices his annoyance that his daughter and soon-to-be son-in-law are still unwed. (The couple gets married in a later scene and shares a kiss.) A man discovers that he has a son from his affair with a married woman more than 20 years before.

A wife comforts her husband with a hug and a kiss on the cheek. A man kisses several women on their cheeks in a dance club. A woman wearing a revealing dress is frisked by a cop.

Cleavage is seen on women wearing cocktail dresses in a club, and Mike states that an undercover cop should have worn a less-revealing dress. A woman wears very short shorts paired with a bralette-type top. Bikini-clad women and shirtless men dance on a boat. Pictures of male genitalia are seen on a TV screen in the background of pictures on a culprit’s phone. A scene from a telenovela showing two people in bed is seen on someone’s iPad.

We hear jokes about sex, male genitalia, pornography, condoms and erectile dysfunction.

Violent Content

This franchise has never been short on gunfire, explosions or high-speed car chases, and Bad Boys for Life is no exception. Villains shoot at each other and at cops with little regard for life (although one baddie obstinately refuses to fire his sniper rifle when an “innocent” gets in the way). Police officers fire back in self-defense and to protect innocent bystanders. But many shots—regardless of who fired them—result in bloodshed and loss of life.

A riot is started in a women’s prison when an inmate uses a shank to repeatedly stab a warden. In the ensuing chaos, she steals the woman’s uniform and stuffs the warden’s body inside a washing machine, sneaking out of the prison in an ambulance meant for the officer. Once clear of the prison gates, she uses the shank again to take out her ambulance escorts.

Someone uses a knife to stab several assailants and slit another man’s throat. We see several point-blank shots to people’s heads, a body thrown from a roof onto a car, people falling out of glass windows and someone using a dead body as a shield. A falling piece of glass stabs a man in the neck. A woman falls several stories to her death after getting shot off a balcony.

Explosions are plentiful, especially in car chases when many vehicles are wrecked. One explosion throws a man onto a spike that kills him. Another sends a man falling off a balcony, but he is rescued by his friends. When a helicopter pilot gets shot, the aircraft crashes through the roof of a building and explodes. Someone throws a Molotov cocktail at a car.

When weapons aren’t available, people use their fists and feet to fight. In one instance, Mike chokes his opponent but releases the man just before he passes out. Police use a taser to take a man down. A woman punches a still-injured Mike in the stomach to prove that his wounds haven’t finished healing yet.

After a guy gets thrown from his motorcycle, a large goose-egg forms on his forehead, and another character pokes it. Another man is nearly crushed by a truck while riding in the sidecar of a motorcycle. Mike uses a meat tenderizer to smash a man’s hand for information.

Marcus is hit in the head with a ceiling fan when he tries and fails to fix it. A woman is told to knee a man in his groin. Mike threatens his captain to go vigilante, and his captain threatens to shoot him in response.

Mike has a borderline unhealthy obsession with weapons. (After all, who really needs a grenade launcher?). And he keeps a fully loaded armory in the trunk of his car. Mike is never seen without a gun in the waistband of his pants. He talks about his affection for police raids, describing them as “field trips with guns.”

A woman lies to her son about who his father was in order to trick him into killing his father for her own revenge.

Crude or Profane Language

The f-word is used about 50 times (with five uses preceded by “mother” and one pictured in a text message). The s-word is used nearly 100 times. “H—” and “a–” are uttered about 25 times each; “d–n” is used some 15 times; “b–ch” and “d–khead” are used about five times each; “p-ss” and “n-gga” are each used once. We also hear some Spanish profanities paired onscreen with their profane English subtitles. God’s name is taken in vain at least three times (once with the expletive “d–n”), and Jesus’ name is also misused once.

Despite using the same crude language himself, Marcus admits to punishing a child for cursing. He also apologizes to his infant grandson for swearing in front of him.

Drug and Alcohol Content

A man is seen snorting cocaine just before police break down his door. Characters drink a variety of alcoholic beverages at parties and celebrations throughout the movie. A man pulls out a box of cigars at his daughter’s wedding and sniffs one but is interrupted before he can light it. Capt. Howard drinks Pepto Bismol straight from the bottle in response to the stomachaches he gets from dealing with Mike and Marcus’ shenanigans.

A man reads an article about a deceased drug lord who was considered a hero in his home country of Mexico.

Other Negative Elements

Mike, while usually doing his best to serve and protect the people of Los Angeles, has no problem taking advantage of his authority at times. He speeds around in his fancy sports car even when he’s off duty, steals a car to chase a culprit, refuses to wear a seatbelt and convinces his subordinate to secretly hack into a dead man’s phone. Marcus tells Mike that he technically died when he got shot, coding three times before paramedics were able to bring him back.

Dorn, a team member of AMMO, adamantly refuses to partake in any raids or fights due to an incident in which he nearly killed a man in a blind rage. However, when the team is in danger and needs Dorn’s help, Mike convinces him to fight, promising to pay for Dorn’s therapy later on. When Dorn eventually does go to therapy, Mike and Marcus mock him behind his back.

A man is left handcuffed to a table after being threatened for information. When a man threatens to throw up in his friend’s car, the friend tells him to “drink it.” During a children’s basketball game, an adult tells one child to intentionally foul another player.


It’s been 25 years since these self-proclaimed “bad boys for life” first arrived on the big screen, and not much has changed.

Mike and Marcus still dutifully serve and protect as police officers. But the collateral damage they rack up across Los Angeles makes one wonder if all the violence over the years has really been worth it. It certainly causes Marcus to pause and reconsider what he’s doing with his life. And he has a good moment with God where he recommits to his faith.

Unfortunately, that moment is swiftly interrupted by Mike and his predilection for creating as much chaos as possible. Carnage ensues.

The other massacre in this movie is the foul language. Barely a minute goes by without viewers’ being assaulted by an onslaught of harsh profanities and crude jokes. And although the movie generally steers away from harsh sexual content, suggestive dialogue and skimpy outfits still get screen time.

The final scene of this rebooted sequel hints at a renewed future for the Bad Boys franchise. But much like Mike and Marcus, it’s probably time for this saga to retire.

The Plugged In Show logo
Elevate family time with our parent-friendly entertainment reviews! The Plugged In Podcast has in-depth conversations on the latest movies, video games, social media and more.
Emily Tsiao

Emily studied film and writing when she was in college. And when she isn’t being way too competitive while playing board games, she enjoys food, sleep, and geeking out with her husband indulging in their “nerdoms,” which is the collective fan cultures of everything they love, such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate and Lord of the Rings.