Bad Boys: Ride or Die – REVIEW

Bad Boys: Ride or Die – REVIEW
Image: Source: Sony Pictures

It was just a matter of time before another sequel was produced in this cinematic franchise, especially since the previous instalment Bad Boys For Life (2020) was a box office sensation around the world.

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence reprise their roles as detectives Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett respectively in this cop action buddy comedy, and their latest assignment is to investigate allegations made against the Miami Police Department. Their captain is accused of corruption shortly after being murdered and the evidence against him is overwhelming. Can the Bad Boys find the proof to exonerate him considering they become fugitives themselves during the investigation?

It’s evident from the onset that with the passage of time Will Smith and Martin Lawrence may have had difficulty settling into their characters. They both seem distant in the performances they deliver, perhaps icy, mere shells of the characterizations they delivered in the previous three instalments.

What may also have compounded to this is that the comedic element in this edition is very mild, timid at best with few laughs, far and in-between, some of the gags are strained and may just raise a snicker or two. The eradication of one of the arch villains in the finale is cheesy and somewhat laughable, bringing the movie down a few levels on the reality meter.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die features exceptional action

However, what the movie lacks in comedy is compensated by an obscene overload of octane-charged car chases, smash up derbies, explosive deaf defying stunts, fight sequences and a heightened body count, which is what avid viewers of this genre would pay their hard-earned cash to watch.

The finale which seemingly has a duration of 30 minutes is exceptional, flawlessly edited with the action and violence in each frame astutely choreographed.

There’s a selection of Motown music in the soundtrack and naturally the tune ‘Bad boys, bad boys whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do when they come for you?’ blares loudly at audiences intermittently, perhaps as a reminder which movie they’re watching since the synopsis is similar to endless other movies.

Ultimately the story lacks originality but as sequels escalate for all cinematic franchises, originality traditionally declines.

The questions that must be asked are, was this sequel which mysteriously appeared from nowhere necessary? Are the studios merely milking the brand for monetary gains? More importantly, with the shock box office failure of Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga recently, have moviegoers fallen out of love with sequels? Time will tell…

★★★

Screening in cinemas now.

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