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‘Bad Boys: Ride or Die’ Review: Overstimulating But Underwhelming

Bad Boys: Ride or Die is the latest film in the Bad Boys series. The saga, once helmed by Michael Bay, is now back once again in the hands of directing duo Bilall Fallah and Adil El Arbi, who are coming off the back of their now-canceled Batgirl film. 

This review will contain minor spoilers for Bad Boys: Ride or Die.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die / Image Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Bad Boys: Ride or Die follow officers Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burrnett (Martin Lawrence) as they are forced to go on the run from the corrupt feds after the late Captain Howard is falsely accused of collusion with the cartel posthumously. 

Good Guys

Right off the bat, I have to say Bad Boys: Ride or Die is absolutely the funniest film I have seen all year. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence have incredible chemistry, and their banter is pure gold. The audience was dying at every word exchanged between the two, which made for a very fun theater experience. The movie definitely felt like a crowd-pleaser.

Bilall and Adil also have a great eye for action. While some shots were unfortunately up-close and shaky, many more stand out as inventive and unique. I am personally a sucker for any shot that mounts the camera onto an object the characters are using. There is also one sequence in the film that gives us a perspective reminiscent of a first-person shooter game, which is always a delight to see.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die / Image Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Bad Boys

Unfortunately, Bad Boys: Ride or Die is pretty ridiculous in the story department. The main conflict hinges on the fact that nobody wants to hear the other side out on anything, which, at this point, can feel a bit tiring. The concept of these cops being on the run from the law itself is an interesting concept, but the film never quite goes all the way with this idea.

At one point, the duo gets into a helicopter crash while escorting Lowrey’s imprisoned son, Armando (Jacob Scipio). The group ends up out in the redneck wilderness of the South and have to find their way back to Miami. This itself could have made up the bulk of the movie, and be an interesting concept on its own, but the film has them driving for about 30 seconds before they’re immediately back in Miami hiding out in a waterfront home.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die / Image Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Overall, Bad Boys: Ride or Die was a mixed bag for me. I did have lots of fun watching all the cool action sequences and crazy shenanigans happening, but the story never fully felt quite there. Nevertheless, I’m still looking forward to whatever Bilall and Adil work on next, as their direction was definitely the silver lining on this.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die / Image Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Bad Boys: Ride or Die is now playing in theaters everywhere. The film stars Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, Paola Nuñez, Eric Dane, Ioan Gruffudd, Jacob Scipio, Melanie Liburd, Tasha Smith, Rhea Seehorn, with Tiffany Haddish, and Joe Pantoliano.

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Co-Owner of Feature First, Ethan is an aspiring filmmaker & actor based in California. He currently serves as Managing Editor for Feature First.