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BAD BOYS: RIDE OR DIE Review – Chemistry, Comedy, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

BAD BOYS: RIDE OR DIE is an instant classic
Bad Boys: Ride or Die

Bad Boys: Ride or Die is an exhilarating blend of action, comedy, and camaraderie that showcases the enduring chemistry between Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. Directed by the talented duo Adil & Bilall, the film is a testament to the power of a well-crafted buddy cop dynamic, filled with humor, heart, and high-stakes drama. As Miami’s finest find themselves on the run, the movie delivers a rollicking good time that both honors and revitalizes the beloved franchise.

The Chemistry of Smith and Lawrence Guarantees a Reaction

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

The film’s biggest strength lies in the impeccable chemistry and charisma of its leading stars. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence have only grown better with age, delivering performances that are both hilarious and heartfelt. Their on-screen relationship is the beating heart of the film, with their banter and camaraderie providing endless entertainment. While they might not be involved in as many action sequences as in their younger days, the scenes they do partake in are executed with finesse, showcasing their enduring star power without resorting to making them unkillable action heroes.

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The vulnerability of their age adds a unique charm to the film, making their characters more relatable and endearing. This aspect is handled with a light touch, adding depth to their personas without detracting from the film’s overall fun vibe.

Stellar Support and Franchise Staples

Bad Boys: Ride or Die
Martin Lawrence stars in Columbia Pictures BAD BOYS: RIDE OR DIE. Photo by: Frank Masi

Supporting Smith and Lawrence is an excellent cast that brings their own flair to the story. Notable returns include Joe Pantoliano as Captain Howard, whose involvement provides a poignant link to the past and a driving force for the narrative. His character’s arc, despite his off-screen demise, adds a layer of emotional depth to the film.

Among the new cast members, Hannah Waddingham and Ving Rhames deliver standout performances. Waddingham’s portrayal of Jinx, a villainous Persian cat, and Rhames’s role as Otto, a formidable bull, are highlights. They define their characters so well that it’s hard to imagine future iterations without them.

Adil & Bilall Have Levelled Up

Bad Boys: Ride or Die
Directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah on the set of Columbia Pictures BAD BOYS: RIDE OR DIE. Photo by: Frank Masi

Adil & Bilall have made tremendous strides as action and comedy storytellers. Their direction in Bad Boys: Ride or Die is dynamic and engaging, blending high-octane action with sharp, comedic moments. They have successfully built on the legacy of the franchise, crafting a film that feels fresh while respecting its roots.

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The screenplay by Chris Bremner and Will Beall is another highlight, honoring the franchise while providing a more organic legacy and passing of the torch compared to previous installments. The writing is tight, the humor is on point, and the narrative flows seamlessly, making for an engaging viewing experience.

Robrecht Heyvaert’s and the Spirit of Michael Bay

Bad Boys: Ride or Die
Will Smith stars in Columbia Pictures BAD BOYS: RIDE OR DIE. Photo by: Frank Masi

Robrecht Heyvaert’s cinematography is a visual feast! I believe it has to be influenced by Michael Bay, his work in Bad Boys: Ride or Die captures the spirit of Bad Boys II with a modern twist. The use of the arching slow-motion hero shot is particularly noteworthy and Bay-wortthy, adding a dramatic flair that enhances the film’s action sequences and radiates BAD BOYS. The vibrant color palette and innovative camera techniques create an immersive experience that is both exciting and aesthetically pleasing.

All of which brilliantly capture and highlights the gorgeous locations, set design, and action set pieces in Bad Boys: Ride or Die. The location and set of the final showdown, in particular, is an absolute masterpiece, providing a thrilling and visually stunning climax to the film. Each action sequence is meticulously crafted, balancing intensity with entertainment.

Minor Flaws

Bad Boys: Ride or Die
Martin Lawrence stars in Columbia Pictures BAD BOYS: RIDE OR DIE. Photo by: Frank Masi

Despite its many strengths, Bad Boys: Ride or Die does have a few minor flaws. The use of the “For Life” subtitle on the third film instead of the fourth is a point of contention that I will never forgive. Additionally, the film features some plot holes that seem almost intentional, perhaps as a nod to the genre’s tropes. They are kind of gaping holes, but make for great talking points after the film. In a way they work, but I just have to mention it’s technically a mistake.

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Lastly, what keeps this film from being the best in the franchise, is its unremarkable soundtrack. The music and score work well for the film. But it is lacking that X-factor that the first two films from their soundtracks. It draws in and expands the overall movie experience creating a cultural anchor point for audiences. This is why many of my colleagues, and I, will compare it to Bad Boys II but can’t say it’s better. While these gaps don’t significantly detract from the overall experience, they are noticeable.

For Life

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

Bad Boys: Ride or Die is a triumphant return for Miami’s finest, delivering everything fans could hope for and then some. With absolutely peak performances from Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, outstanding support from a talented cast, and the masterful direction of Adil & Bilall, the film is a thrilling and heartwarming addition to the franchise. Robrecht Heyvaert’s cinematography and the exceptional set design further elevate the movie, making it a must-watch for action-comedy fans. Despite a few minor flaws, Bad Boys: Ride or Die stands as a testament to the enduring appeal of its stars and the magic of their on-screen partnership.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die gets an

8/10

(would’ve been a 9 if this one was called “For Life”)

Bad Boys: Ride or Die releases exclusively in theaters on June 7, 2024.


About Bad Boys: Ride or Die

Bad Boys: Ride or Die


Release: June 7, 2024
Directors: Adil & Bilall
Writers: Chris Bremner, Will Beall
Based on Characters by George Gallo
Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer, Will Smith, Chad Oman, Doug Belgrad, Martin Lawrence
Cinematography: Robrecht Heyvaert
Editors: Asaf Eisenberg, Dan Lebental
Music: Lorne Balfe
Production: Columbia Pictures, Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Westbrook Studios, 2.0 Entertainment
Distribution: Sony Pictures
Cast: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, Paola Núñez, Eric Dane, Ioan Gruffudd, Rhea Seehorn, Jacob Scipio, Melanie Liburd, Tasha Smith, Tiffany Haddish, Joe Pantoliano

Logline
This Summer, the world’s favorite Bad Boys are back with their iconic mix of edge-of-your seat action and outrageous comedy but this time with a twist: Miami’s finest are now on the run


Do you already have your tickets to Bad Boys: Ride or Die? Are you also genuinely annoyed that they used the “For Life” subtitle on the third film rather than the fourth? What is the last movie you remember with a banger of a theme song? Let us know your answers on Discord!

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Kevin Fenix

Professional Nerd | Amateur Human | Creative/Content Director The best way to describe Kevin Fenix is the kid you never tell what the buttons do in video games so you have a chance to win. Being 6’ 4” and Asian, he never really fit in, so he got comfortable standing out. Not only is it easy to find him in crowds, he dabbles in the culinary arts, does a little stand up and improv, and can honestly say Spider-Man is the Jesus-like influence of his life. Kevin Fenix loves dogs, movies, television, comics, comedy, and to shoot people… with video.