Bad Boys: Ride or Die

Bad Boys Ride or Die
Should satisfy long-time fans of the franchise, even if the stars are getting close to retirement.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die

Release Date: June 7, 2024
Runtime: 01:55
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.

Table of Contents

The Miami detectives find themselves fugitives while they try to clear the name of their departed captain in . Veteran Miami detective Mike Lowrey () finally ties the knot by marrying his physical therapist Christine (). However, during the reception, Mike's partner Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) has a near-fatal heart attack, during which he sees a vision of deceased Captain Howard (). When Marcus recovers, he and Mike are shocked to discover that the FBI has started an investigation against Captain Howard for having possible ties to the cartels.

Desperate for answers, Mike interrogated his incarcerated cartel member son Armando (). After receiving a pre-recorded message from Captain Howard and learning that Armando knows the identity of who ordered Howard killed, Mike and Marcus accompany Armando and a protective prisoner transfer. However, James McGrath (), the man responsible, hijacks the plane and makes it appear that Mike and Marcus orchestrate the escape of Armando.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die Synopsis

Bad Boys: Ride or Die is the fourth entry in the nearly three-decade-long buddy cop film series, with the Belgian duo of Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah returning to direct, after helming 2020's Bad Boys for Life. This includes the return of most of the supporting cast, including the AMMO team of weapons expert Kelly () and tech expert Dorn (Alexander Ludwig) and Mike and Marcus' new captain Rita Secada (Paola Núñez), who is dating DA-turned-Mayorial candidate Adam Lockwood (). Some new faces include Tasha Smith taking over from Theresa Randle as Marcus' wife Theresa and as stripper/informant Tabitha.

The film's plot sees Mike and Marcus become fugitives while trying to clear the name of Captain Howard. Ironically, this makes them the target of Howard's US Marshall daughter Judy (), who holds a personal vendetta against Mike's illegitimate son Armando for killing her father. Mike and Marcus reluctantly team up with Armando to clear their names and bring down the true man responsible.

My Thoughts on Bad Boys: Ride or Die

Bad Boys: Ride or Die is decidedly a more entertaining film than the previous film Bad Boys for Life, a name that in hindsight would be a more appropriate title for this film. I would call Bad Boys: Ride or Die a distant second behind 2003's insane Bad Boys II. In fact, despite Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah demonstrating themselves as very competent action filmmakers, including a fun first-person action scene, I found myself missing original director Michael Bay, who once again makes a brief on-screen cameo, along with social media personality Khaby Lame.

While the stock value of Will Smith has diminished since the infamous Oscar slap, he still has a major screen presence returning to his first major franchise character for the fourth time and not showing any sign of slowing down in his mid-50s. The same can't be said about Martin Lawrence, who is pushing 60 and the more visibly aged of the two. Lawrence is only in the film as comic relief, which includes a recurring gag throughout the film that Marcus' recovery from his heart attack makes him believe that he is unable to die, resulting in him purposely putting himself in dangerous situations.

The Bad Boys franchise hasn't been known for its memorable antagonists and Eric Dane (Euphoria) as James McGrath is no exception. It is almost as if was unavailable for the role and they settled on a guy that looks like a cross between Ritchson and Neal McDonough. Joking aside, Dane is still satisfactory in the villain role.

As falling back on this franchise is one of the few options for Will Smith these days, I wouldn't be surprised if there is a fifth film in the Bad Boys franchise. However, I don't see where things can go after Bad Boys: Ride or Die, without going in an increasingly ridiculous direction like the Fast and Furious films. Also, continuing would be a major disrespect to Joe Pantoliano, who was able to return in this film using the age-old “if you are seeing this, then I'm dead” video recording. Altogether, Bad Boys: Ride or Die should satisfy long-time fans of the franchise, even if the stars are getting close to retirement.

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Trailer for Bad Boys: Ride or Die

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.