‘Bad Boys: Ride or Die’ is formulaic but fun

Photo: imdb.com

Miami’s finest are back and bringing the heat in ‘Bad Boys: Ride or Die’ (2024).

Starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence returning as wisecracking detectives Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett, the fourth instalment of the action comedy picks up after the events of ‘Bad Boys for Life’ (2020).

Once again directed by Belgian film duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, ‘Bad Boys: Ride or Die’ sees Mike getting married and Marcus recovering from a near-death experience that leaves him feeling philosophical and invulnerable, but on a strict diet of zero Skittles.

With the familial fracas of the previous film behind them and the future looking bright, the assassination of their beloved Captain Conrad Howard (Joe Pantoliano) by Mike’s incarcerated son, Armando, weighs heavily.

Mike’s guilt is compounded by the fact that a shadowy drug cartel is framing Captain Howard for collusion.

Naturally, ‘Bad Boys: Ride or Die’ revolves around Mike and Marcus trying to clear their late captain’s name.

To do so there are gun fights, helicopter battles, great escapes, fugitive status, panic attacks and a fierce finale in a defunct Floridian amusement park plagued by an albino alligator.

While much of the film is formulaic and familiar, that sense of déjà vu is helped by the comedic chemistry between Smith and Lawrence.

As Marcus’s spiritual ramblings and erroneous belief in his immortality bounce off Mike’s sarcastic, macho, but ultimately protective persona, ‘Bad Boys: Ride or Die’ gives us the male friendship, amusing banter and vulnerability that has made this pairing so popular.

The first film came out in 1995 and, almost 30 years later, the franchise is still going strong.

Aside from its stars, ‘Bad Boys: Ride or Die’ also benefits from being a sheer popcorn spectacle.

Directors Arbi and Fallah do it all. From first person shooter angles to epic, neon action sequences and explosive, fiery bounty hunting, the duo keeps it moving, action packed and they don’t linger on the dead.

Also starring Eric Dane as the cold-blooded villain McGrath, as well as Vanessa Hudgens and Alexander Ludwig returning, ‘Bad Boys: Ride or Die’ is heavy with the cameos and features a nostalgic nod to original director Michael Bay.

Catch this at the cinema if you’re into big, fun, formulaic blockbusters and maturing heroes with the added comfort of knowing that Bad Boys never die.

Want to win a movie ticket to see ‘Bad Boys: Ride or Die’ (2024) or a movie of your choice at Ster-Kinekor?

Simply answer the following question: What city do the Bad Boys live in?

Email your name, cellphone number and answer to weekender@namibian.com.na with the subject line ‘MOVIE’.

– martha@namibian.com.na; Martha Mukaiwa on Twitter and Instagram; marthamukaiwa.com

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