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Bad Boys - Ride or Die Review - An angry Will Smith always makes for good entertainment, especially with a hysterical Martin Lawrence around

Bad Boys - Ride or Die Review: They have aged but they are still the Bad Boys! The young can have bruises, but they will own the spotlight. 

Bad Boys - Ride or Die Review - An angry Will Smith always makes for good entertainment, especially with a hysterical Martin Lawrence around
Bad Boys: Ride Or Die Review

Last Updated: 10.05 AM, Jun 06, 2024


Bad Boys: Ride or Die Review

Plot Summary

In the fourth round of 'Look, don't go near Will Smith when he is angry,' we meet Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) just as Mike is about to marry Christine (Melanie Liburd). Soon, we learn their now-deceased boss, Captain Howard (Joe Pantoliano), is accused of being a traitor. The two devout 'Boys' must clear the name of the man who made them stellar cops in the first place.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die Review: Analysis

There is a certain emotional value in a franchise where the characters have grown up with their audience. Two men who are each other's Man Friday are the best of pals, and there is no way one can separate them. They were always guided by a boss who was much older and more powerful, but now they are on their own—and well, they are not ageing in reverse. When the film opens and Will Smith's character admits his age is 50, it feels like we have come a long way with them. His on-screen son is around our age, but the father is still a bulletproof man. The vibe is still that of the '80s, the gags are still unpolished but supremely hilarious, and the acceptance of ageing feels like a fresh breeze and a wave of nostalgia. 


Bad Boys: Ride or Die, written by Chris Bremner and Will Beall from characters created by George Gallo and directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (the duo who last directed the MCU's Ms. Marvel), is a film that doesn't take itself too seriously. This is also a plot device the filmmaker duo is known for using. It is always a perfect world, with a hint of discomfort and tonnes of situational jokes with elements that appear out of place but feel perfectly right. A white alligator pops out of nowhere in Ride or Die, so you know what I mean. It is a movie with ample style, Will Smith’s beautiful neckchains, and two actors accepting their age in a film that views them as unbeatable action stars.

The ease in their acceptance is palpable because they are placed in a world reminiscent of past dramas with cartels and stark daylight murders. All of that is nicely overshadowed by the hero's panache—entering a room, breaking bones with crackling sounds, and exiting unscathed while the Bad Boys theme plays in the background. This makes Bad Boys: Ride or Die entertaining, progressive, and satisfying because it doesn't force itself to cater to a new audience. It sticks to what it should and evolves where it must. Also, the comebacks for Will and the gags for Martin are hilarious. The situational humour lands every single time with no misses, which speaks volumes about the material's finesse.

Not that Bad Boys: Ride or Die is an all-rounder film. There are plenty of loopholes. The action sequences are great, but the buildup is cliché. There are times you might guess things before they happen on screen. The screenplay is strained at one point, and you feel the stretch. However, kudos to Bilall and Adil for using their strengths to overshadow these flaws. For instance, a parallel narrative where Marcus almost dies of cardiac arrest, enters the afterlife, and returns when the soul of Captain Howard says he isn't supposed to die yet is funny. In the hands of a less seasoned filmmaker, it would seem random. But the earnestness with which they use this plot device is superbly entertaining. It feels out of place but it doesn't bother me because it is fun. Remember the alligator?

Will Smith playing an angry man ready to trigger right after the slap controversy is a gutsy decision. But he is more confident now than ever. He exits combat without a scratch while his son is heavily wounded, and he sells it well. Martin Lawrence is hilariously impeccable with his comic timing and rewarding bromance with Smith. Together, they make everything look organic and smooth. This partnership deserves more exploration.

DOP Robrecht Heyvaert experiments throughout the movie, knowing the quirky setup allows for it. At one point, the film looks like a video game; at another, it looks like an ad film. There is a brief bit where he zooms in so much that you can see him having fun behind the camera. The action sequences are well-choreographed, and the humour in them is great. The background music, however, could have been better.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die Review: Final Verdict

That Bad Boys: Ride or Die doesn't force itself to change its style for a younger audience is what makes it worth the time. And, of course, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence's bromance should be a genre in itself.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die hits the big screen on June 7, 2024. 

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