[Courtesy of Columbia Pictures]

Movie Review: Bad Boys: Ride or Die

07:00 June 11, 2024
By: Fritz Esker

Bad Boys: Ride or Die (2024)

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence return one more time to the Bad Boys buddy-cop franchise with Bad Boys: Ride or Die. The results are nothing special and will likely only please die-hard fans of the series.

At the start of the film, Smith's Mike Lowery is finally getting married. Lawrence's Marcus Burnett suffers a near-fatal heart attack at the reception that has him believing he can't die (the movie forgets about this gag for long stretches then periodically reintroduces it). Their deceased captain (Joe Pantoliano) has been framed for drug trafficking and corruption. The two aging cops set out to clear his name and find the mole in law enforcement.

The plotting is indifferent. The mole is easy to guess from the first moment they appear on screen. The climactic showdown with the bad guys' chief muscle (Eric Dane) is ripped off directly from an iconic 1980s action-comedy buddy film. The attempts at humor mostly misfire. The actor who gets the most laughs is Dennis McDonald as Burnett's impassive Marine son-in-law. The only action scene that impresses is a fight on a plummeting aircraft.

The film's opening weekend box office did give a needed shot in the arm to theaters struggling to keep up in a year where the release slate is pretty barren because of last year's protracted strikes in Hollywood, which halted productions for several months. So at least Bad Boys: Ride or Die has done some good even if it is not a good movie.

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