“Bad Boys: Ride Or Die” Review: If There Was Ever Any Doubt, There Was No Need For It

“Bad Boys: Ride Or Die” Review: If There Was Ever Any Doubt, There Was No Need For It

The boys are back in a big way



It was 1995 when we were first introduced to the Bad Boys—Marcus (Martin Lawrence) and Mike (Will Smith)—of the Miami Police Department. Succeeding films were released in 2003 (Bad Boys II) and 2020 (Bad Boys for Life), and the latest, Bad Boys: Ride or Die, was recently released to theaters.


Even if you aren’t a fan or viewer of the franchise, you’re likely to have seen clips of the various films. For one reason or another, I keep seeing the clip of Marcus and Mike sizing up a young boy (Reggie) who’s come to take the former’s daughter (Meghan) out on a date.



But whatever happened in the previous films, Bad Boys: Ride or Die brings every story forward. After all, the late Captain Howard is being linked to drug cartels and Mike and Marcus are hell-bent on clearing their former boss’ name. And if you didn’t know it already, I’m telling you now: When Mike and Marcus set their eyes on something, there’s no stopping them.



With all the drama that surrounded Will Smith at the Oscars in 2022, some people a fourth chapter starring Marcus and Mike would never happen—and Smith’s outburst aside, I’m happy it did. It gives us a chance to really see them in their full form.


Bad Boys: Ride or Die sees the two as older gentlemen, whose priorities and skills have changed alongside them. But they are just as on as ever, thanks in direct part to screenwriters Chris Bremner and Will Beall, who created a fresh and engaging experience that translates immensely well into the big screen.


Of course, it wouldn’t be a Bad Boys film without the action sequences. And despite the intense surplus of action movies that are already out there, Ride or Die still somehow comes out rather explosive. Thank you, directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah.



Throughout the film, the bad boys have their own battles to overcome, too. Marcus almost dies, and he becomes almost reckless because of it. Mike is experiencing panic attacks—something alien to him that he refuses to even acknowledge. On top of all this, they need to bust the real drug cartel leaders who are trying to get away with their crimes scot-free by putting the blame on Captain Howard.


But beyond our main characters, the secondary boys shine just as brightly. Reggie (Dennis Greene) is still around, and we see him in the kind of action that makes Marcus and Mike see him in an incredibly different light. Armando (Jacon Scipio), the criminal son of Mike, has a chance to redeem himself—and boy, does he. Dorn (Alexander Ludwig) is your quirky, intelligent guy who is only trying to do the good thing. So if you’re not a fan of Martin Lawrence or Will Smith (we can’t blame you), then let these boys take the beloved franchise into their hands.



You’re probably asking why you should watch Bad Boys: Ride or Die, especially since it sounds a lot like the earlier releases in their franchise. It’s a buddy cop movie about friendship, family and loyalty. There are bad guys, there are good guys. There are chase scenes in cars and on foot, and another abandoned area where everything goes down to minimize casualties. There are changes of heart, and newfound respect. But here’s the thing: it’s fun.


The film is definitely not the best film you’ll see this year; it might not even grace your top 10—but it’s the kind of film you’ll find yourself watching again and again (once it inevitably releases on streaming networks) because it’s hilarious and heartfelt.


“Bad Boys: Ride or Die” is showing in theaters now.



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