Film & TV

Film Review: Bad Boys: Ride or Die

The latest in the Bad Boys series delivers all that fans expect.

Predictable, funny, and full of great stunts

Almost thirty years after the original Bad Boys film was created, Martin Lawrence and Will Smith return as Marcus Burnett and Mike Lowrey in the fourth instalment of the series, Bad Boys: Ride or Die

This time, detectives Burnett and Lowrey are determined to clear their late Captain Conrad Howard’s (Joe Pantoliano) name after he is framed for corruption and ties to drug cartels. As the trailer shows, their late Captain uncovered corruption from within, and after being set up, the pair become fugitives as they continue his investigation in a bid to clear his name.

Lead actors Lawrence and Smith are hilarious as the pair really bounce off each other on screen in a genuine way. This camaraderie not only endears them as individuals to the audience but also elevates their performance as a duo, reminiscent of their dynamic in the previous Bad Boys films. By incorporating their flaws – Burnett’s love of all things unhealthy and Lowrey’s panic attacks – into the script, they become more relatable and human, adding to their overall appeal.

Armando (Jacob Scipio), who portrayed the villain in third instalment Bad Boys for Life during which it was revealed he was Lowrey’s son, also stars as one of the leading actors, and this time, becomes an unlikely ally to the now-fugitive detectives. Just like Lawrence and Smith, Scipio is humanised, and the father and son’s relationship is put again to the test throughout the film.

All three are depicted as exceptional fighters, and their action-packed stunts are wholly enjoyable, even if their ongoing success borders on the completely unrealistic. I loved every minute of the action, and it was nonstop throughout, overshadowing any flaws in the plot. Admittedly I would also watch this film just because Jacob Scipio is in it. Hilariously the three fugitives are all upstaged by Fletcher (John Salley).

Adding to the film’s charm, scriptwriters Chris Bremner and Will Beall include other playful quirks, such as featuring podcaster Jay Shetty as the wedding celebrant, and having Burnett (after a near-death experience where he makes contact with the other side) believe himself to be invincible.

Directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (aka Adil & Bilall) this is worth seeing on the big screen, particularly if you are a long-time fan like me. It is fast paced with well-choreographed fight scenes aided by great cinematography that ensures you don’t miss any of the action.

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