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  • Writer's pictureAlex First

Bad Boys: Ride or Die (MA) - 115 minutes

Updated: Jun 8

The fourth film in the American buddy cop action-comedy franchise that dates back to 1995 has Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett defending their former boss’ honour.


Detective Lowrey (Will Smith) has married his physical therapist, Christine (Melanie Liburd).


His partner, Burnett (Martin Lawrence), has had a life-or-death experience, coming back from the brink after a heart attack. As a result, he mistakenly believes he is bullet proof.


The pair spring into action following accusations that their late captain Conrad Howard (Joe Pantoliano) was crooked – tied to drug cartels. Of course, they are determined to find who is behind the set up.

Their hunt for the truth leads them to Lowrey’s estranged son, Armando Aretas (Jacob Scipio), jailed for Howard’s murder. Lowrey and Burnett are hoping he can identify the illusive figure that has managed to alter Howard’s clean record.


In trying to uncover the brains behind the operation, they lock horns with the captain’s daughter, US Marshall Judy Howard (Rhea Seehorn).


She is not the only one in their cross hairs. Another is Lowrey’s ex-girlfriend, the head of Miami Police unit AMMO (Advanced Miami Metro Operations). She is now dating prospective mayoral candidate Adam Lockwood (Ioan Gruffudd).


The stakes are ratcheted up as the boys’ target appears to be anticipating their every move, leading to an explosive showdown in alligator infested waters.


Jive talking between the mismatched duo is in full swing in Bad Boys: Ride or Die, with a series of cringe worthy lines trotted out as Burnett goes all kumbaya.

Still, I found the family dynamics that links the pair to be a safe pair of hands. In other words, you know what you are in for when you enter a cinema to see a Bad Boys’ movie and, in that regard, it is no let down.


Rather, in amongst the trash talk and horse play, there is affection and action aplenty – showdowns, gun fights, explosions and exotic locales.


The film is a good looker and the connection between Smith and Lawrence remains strong.


A former Drug Enforcement Administration officer named James McGrath (Eric Dane) makes for a formidable adversary.


I also appreciated the performance of Jacob Scipio as Lowrey’s ever vigilant son, who has a good lie of the land.


Ensuring a similar feel to the previous instalment, Bad Boys: Ride or Die retains the directing duo responsible for the previous instalment, Bad Boys for Life (2020). One of that writing team, Chris Bremner, is also back for more, this time alongside Will Beall (Aquaman).

So, standby for more bickering and bravado, as there is clearly an audience for such neatly packaged hijinks and heroics.


Rated MA, Bad Boys: Ride or Die scores a 6½ out of 10.


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