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“Bad Boys” come back to right the wrongs

The fourth film in the action-comedy series starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, Bad Boys: Ride or Die, is about a battle to restore a damaged legacy. Not that one, please. Conrad Howard (Joe Pantoliano), the adored captain of detectives Mike (Smith) and Marcus (Lawrence), has had his reputation tarnished after his death. Conrad is set up as a Mexican drug cartel informant after his death in order to conceal more egregious corruption. Our investigators got to work clearing his name. It goes without saying that Smith is the true beneficiary of this image restoration.

In 2022, while “Ride or Die” was still in development, Smith walked onto the Oscar stage and gave Chris Rock a slap. The movie was shelved for a while. Weighed were the options. However, “Bad Boys for Life” from 2020 brought in a healthy $424.6 million before COVID-19 closed theaters. What are you going to do? The end product is the first film that Smith has directed during that period known as Post Slap. Here he is, taking the wheel once more and speeding along the Miami waterfront while Lawrence follows close behind.

In essence, “Ride or Die” marks Will Smith’s return to familiar ground, aiming to ignore the bumps in his career. Despite hints of aging, the film sticks to its ’90s buddy-cop formula. Lawrence shines with his comedic energy, though the routine feels a bit worn. Smith takes a more subdued role, showcasing his enduring action star status. While the film follows a predictable path, the brisk pace and nostalgia make it entertaining. In a landscape lacking in such charismatic action duos, “Bad Boys: Ride or Die” stands out.


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