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Bad Boys Ride Or Die Review: Slapping Action With Great Comedy

The Bad Boys franchise started in 1995, but no one expected that it would receive a new lease of life decades later thanks to the directing duo, Adil & Billal. Now they’re back for yet another entry in the buddy cop series, Bad Boys Ride Or Die, featuring Will Smith returning for his biggest movie since The Slap of 2022. Is Bad Boys Ride Or Die just another cash-grab sequel or is it as fun as the previous movies?

Bad Boys, Bad Boys…

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence star in Columbia Pictures BAD BOYS: RIDE OR DIE. Photo by: Frank Masi

Directing duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah proved themselves to be a force to be reckoned with when 2020’s Bad Boys For Life turned out to be better than everyone expected. With Bad Boys Ride Or Die, they prove yet again that they’re not a one-trick pony at all. They bring their wild chaotic energy during the movie’s action scenes with many unconventional shots. In one particularly memorable scene in Bad Boys Ride Or Die, the directors executed a unique first-person perspective shot, and that’s not the only scene that seems to have been inspired by video games. Watching Bad Boys Ride Or Die has made me even sadder that we’ll never be able to see Adil & Billal’s Batgirl movie. Let’s hope that they get the chance to do more action movies in the future.

That being said, I’ve always felt that the action has never been the Bad Boys franchise’s strongest suit; it’s actually the chemistry between Will Smith’s Mike Lowrey and Martin Lawrence’s Marcus Burnett, as well as the great comedy that comes from that combination. Bad Boys Ride Or Die is arguably one of the funniest Bad Boys movies yet, but this time around, that’s mostly thanks to Martin Lawrence’s performance, which is the true highlight of the entire movie. I laughed out loud many times in this movie. Perhaps the reason why is because many movies these days often have PC (politically correct) jokes, so it’s nice to get an action comedy that isn’t afraid to have some off-colour humour. Something happens in Bad Boys Ride Or Die (no spoilers) that changes Marcus’ personality, resulting in some hilarious outbursts and crazy antics by Martin Lawrence. It’s refreshing to see that, as it’s always been Marcus who was the uptight cautious one in previous movies, while Will Smith’s Mike has usually been the one to go guns blazing in any situation.

(l to r) Alexander Ludwig, Vanessa Hudgens and Paola Núñez in Columbia Pictures BAD BOYS: RIDE OR DIE. Photo by: Zac Popik

As for Will Smith, he delivers a performance that one would expect from someone like him. Slap or no slap, he’s a great actor, and he continues doing that in Bad Boys Ride Or Die, though Martin Lawrence definitely has better moments and lines in this one. The supporting cast in Bad Boys Ride Or Die is also commendable, with several of them reprising their roles from past movies such as Paola Nunez, Vanessa Hudgens, and others. Keep a look out for the new characters played by Rhea Seahorn (yes, Kim Wexler from Better Call Saul) and Melanie Liburd (Special Agent Saga Anderson from Alan Wake 2, baby!).

The only thing that perhaps holds back Bad Boys Ride Or Die is that 2020’s Bad Boys For Life had more emotional heft in its narrative and felt more ‘finality’ to it like it could very well be their last movie. Bad Boys Ride Or Die goes more for the laughs, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, it feels like a less substantial sequel. However, there were still a few emotional and tense moments in Bad Boys Ride Or Die amidst all the comedy, so again, kudos to the directing duo.

Whatcha Gonna Do, Whatcha Gonna Do When They Come For You…

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence star in Columbia Pictures BAD BOYS: RIDE OR DIE. Photo by: Frank Masi

Bad Boys Ride Or Die is definitely what you’d expect from the franchise by now. While it doesn’t really offer anything new, that’s never the point of these movies. The comedic chemistry of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence still carries the movie, and Martin Lawrence is funny as hell in this one, with some decent action scenes courtesy of Adil & Billal. This movie is a lot of fun, what more can you ask from a buddy cop action comedy flick?

FINAL SCORE: 80/100

We attended a press screening of Bad Boys Ride Or Die courtesy of Sony Pictures Malaysia. Bad Boys Ride Or Die premieres in Malaysian cinemas on 13 June 2024.

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