Bad Boys: Ride Or Die Review

Bad Boys: Ride Or Die Review

By Kevin Hoskinson
Entertainment Editor

It’s hard to believe, but the Bad Boys franchise is almost 30 years old now. It’s also hard to believe that stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence would be reprising the roles that shot them to stardom after this long and doing it with style. What’s even harder to believe is that the films would be just as good or even better than what came all those years ago. Well, I’m here to tell you to believe all of that because the newest entry in the franchise, Bad Boys: Ride Or Die, is a great follow-up to Bad Boys For Life and a fun entry in the series as a whole.

What is astounding about the series at this point is that all of it feels organic, even though Michael Bay is no longer at the helm. Bad Boys was his first film after a career in commercials and music videos, and it was a big success. He followed it up with several hits, including Bad Boys 2 eight years later. It seemed almost unfathomable that anybody else could take the reins and bring us anything close to those films, but directors Adil El Arbi and Biall Fallah proved to be more than up to the task.

After the success of Bad Boys For Life, almost 20 years after the second film, the two signed on to do a fourth film. These guys know what they are doing and are confessed fans of those early Michael Bay films, which is apparent in every frame. They feel like those early films, with one foot in reality and the other in the absurd. Some people prefer the insane heights that something like the Fast and Furious franchise has achieved, but it’s great that this one always feels down to earth while also swinging for the fences a bit.

In the film, detectives Mike Lowery and Marcus Burnett are on a mission to clear their late former captain’s name after he is linked to cartel corruption within the police force. The trail leads to Mike’s son Armando, who is serving time for the murder of Captain Howard.
The three of them soon find themselves running from the law as they are connected to an event that will shake up their investigation and change the game going forward. With the world against them and nowhere to go, they can no longer trust anyone and are on their own, all while the two detectives are dealing with their own mortality.

Martin Lawrence and Will Smith are at the top of their game in Ride Or Die. They are getting older, and the story allows them to get older and doesn’t expect them to be anything other than what they are. The characters they play, Marcus Burnett and Mike Lowrey, aren’t the young and fearless detectives they once were and have grown so much over the years. They have deeper relationships in their lives and families to protect, and the stakes have also grown with them. Lawrence takes the lead this time around and he is a standout. Early on in the film, he has a near-death experience that makes him see life in a different light, and he starts to live his life accordingly. It’s always been Smith’Smith’s Lowery who was the loose cannon, but they flip the script, and it’s hilarious. The two of them still make it work, though, and their chemistry has yet to skip a beat.

Bad Boys: Ride Or Die is the perfect summer blockbuster. It has everything you want and expect from the franchise, with Arbi and Fallah bringing their unique flair. They aren’t simply doing a Michael Bay impression but building on his style and doing something wholly their own. If you have never seen a Bad Boys movie before, you will enjoy the heck out of it. If you have seen every Bad Boys movie, you will love it. Go check it out; it’s a lot of fun!

Rating: FOUR Pastrami Nations out of FIVE.

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