Bad Boys: Ride or Die – Movie Review

It’s hard to believe that the Bad Boys franchise has been around six years longer than The Fast and the Furious. While both series have become increasingly ridiculous with each new installment, Bad Boys is the one that hasn’t yet worn out its’ welcome. F&F series is already ten films deep, with more on the way, yet we are now just getting our fourth Bad Boys film. Unlike the more recent installments of the globetrotting car-centric action series, the Bad Boys films aren’t filled with poor CGI, which make a lot of the big action sequences look fake. I am pleased to say that Bad Boys: Ride or Die is filled with just as much old school practical action as its’ predecessors and its’ stars Will Smith and Martin Laurence haven’t missed a step, even if they might have slowed down just a tad.

Detectives Mike Lowrey (Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Lawrence) are about to start a new chapter in their lives. Mike is no longer a bachelor, since the film opens with him marrying Christine (Melanie Liburd). The wedding celebration gets cut short when Marcus suffers a heart attack on the dance floor. This incident has a major impact on Marcus, as he now feels nothing can hurt him, since he survived. His wife Theresa (Tasha Smith) obviously disagrees and gets rid of all the junk food in the house.

In a time when the detectives should be taking it easy, their deceased captain (Joe Pantoliano) is having his legacy dragged through the dirt because he is being accused of working with the Cartel before he died. Mike and Marcus loved their captain, so of course they take it upon themselves to clear his name. To make matters even more complicated, the only person that can confirm the identity is Mike’s son, Armando (Jacob Scipio), who killed their captain in the last film. The big baddie here is played by Eric Dane, who is often cast as a miliary officer. This time, his character is a former miliary officer-turned-villain.

While Bad Boys: Ride or Die, is fun, it is far from perfect. I wasn’t too keen on the sequences in which Marcus was having spiritual visions and the character twists can be seen from a mile away.  I will say Marcus’ son-in-law Reggie (Dennis Greene) finally gets his due and it was easily one of the best parts of the film, especially if you have seen the other films in the series.

To me, Bad Boys For Life is still the best of them all. However, director’s Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah prove once again that they know exactly what the audience want and deserve from the long-running franchise. Extra points for keeping this big summer blockbuster just under two hours. In a time when most tentpole films feel bloated to justify the high ticket prices, they made sure they trimmed the fat and kept things pretty lean.

By: Marc Ferman