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  • Writer's pictureRob Ervin

Rob Reviews "Bad Boys: Ride or Die"


After Bad Boys for Life, I was truly alright with the series that has been around as long as I have not lived in South Florida ending there.  Although Will Smith and Martin Lawrence had enough in the acting tank to land the proverbial bird with that one, I wasn’t sure a fourth film was necessary.  After watching the trailer, my worry multiplied with the impression that this felt more like “playing to finish” (a phrase I have linked to my beloved Miami Marlins more than once) that anything worthy of the franchise Michael Bay started way back when. (Random trivia: the first film was originally written for Dana Carvey and Jon Lovitz.  Let THAT sink in for a minute.)  So, let’s talk Bad Boys: Ride or Die.

 

Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah return to the director’s chairs for this one, taking place right after the events of For Life.  As Marcus Burnett (Lawrence) and Mike Lowrey (Smith) begin to deal with life changes, they find themselves involved in clearing the name of their former captain (Joe Pantoliano) after posthumous accusations of corruption.  From unlikely allies to possible bad guys within their own ranks (and let’s be honest; what is a film like this without that?), the “bad boys” of the Miami PD put themselves in danger one more time.

 

Going in, I set the bar here REALLY low based on the above statement about the trailer.  Given my love for the previous three films, I did not want what could be my final impression of the Bad Boys series to be soured.  (To put this in perspective, I own the previous three and the soundtracks of the first two… wait, I’m missing one?  I need to fix THAT.)  Luckily, this is one of the cases where a trailer DOES NOT give away the best parts of a film but does suffer with underselling the film itself.  Smith and Lawrence prove that when done right, the buddy cop movie is still a viable thing that will bring in audiences, shown by the full engagement of the audience that attended the screening that I was at.  With the right blend of over-the-top action, comedy, and the chemistry that the two leads are known for, Bad Boys: Ride or Die is everything a summer movie should be.  With Vanessa Hudgens, Paoloa Núñez, Jacob Scipio, and Alexander Ludwig coming back from the third film as well as the addition of Rhea Seehorn (Veep) and Ioan Grafudd (remember when he was Mr. Fantastic?) and cameos by D.J. Khaled, Tiffany Haddish, and a surprise or two, this really is an entertaining ride that paces itself well and tells a solid story about family and loyalty with slick visuals and another soundtrack FULL of bangers.  Sure, there is a reliance of drone camera sequences that could have been cut back a bit, but with the way this film plays out, I can forgive on that front.

 

Will this be the final film in the Bad Boys franchise?  The box office will be the true answer to that question in a summer movie season that seems to be limping out of the gate, but I am kind of good either way on that.  If this truly does close out the series, it does so in a way that I am satisfied with while I could see another go ‘round for Lowrey and Burnett if of course it is done right.

 

Now, to get the missing soundtracks…. MAN, that Mark Mancina theme HITS.

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