Critics Consensus

Bad Boys for Life Is Surprisingly Solid

Plus, Dolittle is bizarre and messy, and Weathering with You is Certified Fresh.

by | January 16, 2020 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a couple of good guys (Bad Boys for Life, starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence) and an adventurous doctor (Dolittle, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Michael Sheen). What are the critics saying?

Bad Boys for Life (2020) 77%

Nobody asked for another sequel to Bad Boys, the Michael Bay-directed 1995 action hit starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, but somebody got it in their head to do one anyway, and 17 years after the first sequel came out, here we are with another installment. Bad Boys for Life reunites Smith’s suave, playboy Miami detective Mike Lowery with his family-man partner, Lawrence’s Marcus Burnett, after the two have walked their own paths for some time. As they both prepare for retirement, a cartel boss with connections to their past initiates a vendetta against Mike, forcing them to work together alongside a team of younger cops to bring him down. Critics say the new film, helmed by the directorial team of Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, improves on the template set by the previous two films, pulling the best elements from them and infusing the story with more heart, and the result is a surprisingly enjoyable ride. The film is somewhat tamer than Bay’s typical macho posturing and wanton destruction, which is mostly a welcome development, and Smith and Lawrence sizzle on screen together like they haven’t spent the last decade and a half apart. At the end of the day, Bad Boys for Life even had some critics looking forward to another installment, which says a lot for a movie hardly anyone wanted in the first place.

Dolittle (2020) 14%

Writer Hugh Lofting’s Doctor Dolittle character has already been brought to the big screen twice before, most recently by Eddie Murphy, and neither of those efforts wowed the critics; this week’s Dolittle doesn’t seem likely to buck that trend. In his first post-MCU role, Robert Downey Jr. stars as the titular veterinarian with the power to communicate with animals, who is grieving the loss of his explorer wife when two children pay him a visit. One (Harry Collett) wants to become his apprentice, while the other (Carmel Laniado) is a lady in waiting to the Queen who hopes to enlist his help find an antidote to the poison the Queen has ingested. Together, the three of them embark on a journey with a gaggle of animals voiced by the likes of Emma Thompson, John Cena, Selena Gomez, Rami Malek, Octavia Spencer, Ralph Fiennes, and a litany of other A-listers, while Michael Sheen, Antonio Banderas, and Jim Broadbent make up a trio of adversaries who stand in their way. Unfortunately, all that star power doesn’t seem to have made a difference, as critics say Dolittle is a joyless, misguided, bizarrely directed adventure that largely wastes its talented cast and its special effects budget. It’s not particularly funny or clever, its tone is unfocused, and for his part, Robert Downey Jr. seems unsure of what he’s trying to accomplish with the character. All the CGI animal sidekicks may be enough to keep the youngest viewers engaged, but there may be little else to appeal to anyone older.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Weathering with You (2020)Makoto Shinkai’s latest animated film, about a teen who meets a girl who has the power to control the weather, is Certified Fresh at 95%.
  • Feedback (2020) , about a late night radio host whose live show is interrupted by a pair of armed men with a secret agenda, is at 77%.
  • The Wave (2020) , starring Justin Long in a sci-fi comedy about a man on vacation who undergoes a psychedelic journey after tripping on hallucinogens, is at 56%.
  • Disturbing the Peace (2020) , starring Guy Pearce in a thriller about a U.S. Marshal living in small-town Texas who takes on a biker gang, is at 0%.

Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

dc Spring TV 2018 nature Endgame game show Summer breaking bad SXSW Shondaland National Geographic ratings robots DC streaming service Ovation documentary richard e. Grant Holiday zombie sequel name the review YouTube YouTube Premium television witnail Academy Awards Dark Horse Comics Turner Classic Movies 2017 Thanksgiving DC Universe spider-man Awards The Witch TIFF First Look Apple TV+ DGA DC Comics award winner NBC blockbuster Awards Tour dogs Pop Sundance Now CNN Discovery Channel HBO Max Music ghosts christmas movies mutant TV Star Wars Trophy Talk teaser serial killer Valentine's Day LGBTQ Trivia sports Comedy streaming Binge Guide Syfy IFC Rocketman Reality TV Land Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt TCA 2017 Lifetime Pixar Fall TV Chernobyl tv talk Nat Geo strong female leads CMT HBO A&E PaleyFest doctor who BBC Podcast 71st Emmy Awards Ellie Kemper independent VH1 Adult Swim Calendar supernatural Comics on TV cults Country Epix USA Infographic SundanceTV book Spectrum Originals mockumentary Reality Competition Television Academy quibi E3 Action Year in Review TCA Winter 2020 Spike Freeform Tarantino WarnerMedia space The CW blaxploitation thriller rotten movies we love cancelled TV series Film Festival foreign Crunchyroll Elton John Netflix Christmas movies Watching Series Christmas Musicals Amazon Prime movies Martial Arts ESPN stand-up comedy YA APB political drama Film Horror Quiz boxoffice video Brie Larson binge Premiere Dates MTV Lifetime Christmas movies 24 frames romance Hallmark crime Sundance TV police drama Pride Month First Reviews GIFs See It Skip It Netflix Paramount Network Super Bowl dragons Warner Bros. Hallmark Christmas movies Emmy Nominations jamie lee curtis Starz The Arrangement crime drama Comedy Central RT History Sony Pictures 007 MSNBC Disney streaming service Disney Video Games Tubi technology NYCC period drama Marathons Writers Guild of America casting Animation Oscars diversity Interview historical drama Marvel New York Comic Con Bravo politics Holidays The Purge festivals miniseries natural history RT21 comics CBS Anna Paquin TNT Trailer Rom-Com Countdown Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Tomatazos Tumblr unscripted dceu romantic comedy kids Photos renewed TV shows facebook Star Trek south america Toys Avengers CW Seed CBS All Access DirecTV USA Network slashers disaster Hulu Heroines Logo El Rey revenge Rock Walt Disney Pictures Pirates TBS Grammys Apple Cannes History harry potter Pet Sematary Sundance Mystery TCA Extras Paramount Sneak Peek Marvel Studios Polls and Games TLC Vudu war Lucasfilm GLAAD spanish language Nickelodeon Peacock vampires singing competition Turner Red Carpet Crackle halloween X-Men Esquire based on movie true crime Showtime Mary Poppins Returns TCM ITV SDCC finale werewolf aliens crossover Stephen King Rocky medical drama adaptation Arrowverse Women's History Month Song of Ice and Fire Captain marvel PBS Mary poppins cancelled television President elevated horror E! versus travel psycho Best and Worst IFC Films transformers 2020 cops Amazon OWN justice league Emmys Cosplay hispanic golden globes Cartoon Network Marvel Television LGBT Box Office Western Musical Apple TV Plus biography 20th Century Fox WGN Disney+ Disney Plus Food Network Lionsgate Baby Yoda indie spinoff movie BBC America theme song 21st Century Fox anthology Biopics Comic Book Ghostbusters 2019 TV renewals Superheroes dramedy discovery FX OneApp MCU comic Teen San Diego Comic-Con Sci-Fi Acorn TV screenings Mindy Kaling Opinion TruTV Universal crime thriller VICE toy story Shudder Black Mirror what to watch adventure comiccon batman Columbia Pictures anime spain zero dark thirty Winners Kids & Family cars animated Disney Plus 45 Fantasy Character Guide green book canceled TV shows Classic Film cinemax latino social media Schedule game of thrones sag awards YouTube Red cooking FOX directors Winter TV joker composers spy thriller A24 Masterpiece Nominations Fox News canceled reboot The Walking Dead Amazon Prime Video Drama zombies series children's TV GoT Creative Arts Emmys psychological thriller talk show American Society of Cinematographers Superheroe FXX Amazon Studios Election science fiction screen actors guild cancelled hist ABC Family ABC free movies Mudbound Disney Channel 2015 Certified Fresh Britbox Set visit cartoon sitcom docudrama Family cancelled TV shows 2016 cats BET AMC Mary Tyler Moore