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MOVIE REVIEW

Movie Review| Bad Boys: Ride or Die (2024)

Published:Friday | June 14, 2024 | 12:07 AMDamian Levy/Gleaner Writer -
This image released by Sony Pictures shows Will Smith (left) and Martin Lawrence in ‘Bad Boys: Ride or Die’.
This image released by Sony Pictures shows Will Smith (left) and Martin Lawrence in ‘Bad Boys: Ride or Die’.
This image released by Sony Pictures shows Will Smith as Detective Mike in ‘Bad Boys: Ride or Die’.
This image released by Sony Pictures shows Will Smith as Detective Mike in ‘Bad Boys: Ride or Die’.
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Marcus and Mike played by Martin Lawrence and Will Smith respectively, seem to be the duo that can’t be kept down. After running away with the most successful film of 2020, perhaps everyone could have predicted the bad boys would ride again. The last film proved that despite their age they can still run with the bulls better than most. Now, they’re tested to protect the legacy of their fallen captain and their own.

They also have to contend with their recent life developments. The movie begins with Mike leaving behind the bachelor life and marrying the love of his life Christine, a woman he meets between films and who merely exists to give Mike something to protect. Marcus, on the other hand, succumbs to his decades of bad diet and has a near-death heart attack. All is well though since his health scare grants him the gift of immortality.

All of this is in addition to the main plot of the widespread corruption of the Miami police department, Mike’s estranged relationship with his drug cartel member son, and the inclusion of several cameos and references that are sure to make fans squeal. Restraint is not a core value in the Bad Boys: Ride or Die writer’s room, resulting in a film that’s so overstuffed it defies caring about.

Many of the plot lines are dropped at a moment’s notice. Although Marcus is supposed to avoid stressful situations, this is quickly forgotten once the action starts. From that point on, Bad Boys: Ride Or Die becomes the film you want it to be, picking up significantly with a second half that delivers on spectacle what it lacks in hard-hitting story.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die has action that’s clunky, disorienting, and captivating all the same. It takes risks with how it presents shoot-outs and chase scenes with a sense of glee. The action stuns and the comedy is up to par with the rest of the series. The characters bicker like a married couple, and Martin Lawrence has the kind of face that can make even the dullest set-up for a joke land hard.

It leans heavily into soap opera territory and the formula gets pushed to the limit in this one. The leads still play off each other well and the commitment to inventive action pays off with some pretty incredible moments. I can’t say how much longer they can keep this up, but for now, the series’ strengths still manage to outmatch their weaknesses.

Rating: Half Price

Damian Levy is a film critic and podcaster for Damian Michael Movies.