Friday, June 14, 2024

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence Prove Bad Boys Don’t Die, They Just Get Funnier

Martin Lawrence and Will Smith
Martin Lawrence and Will Smith Photos Courtsey of Sony

Where to Watch: In theaters

Release Date: June 7th, 2024

Rated: R

Directed by: Adil & Bilall

Starring: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, Paola Nuñez, Jacob Scipio, Melanie Liburd and Tasha Smith with Tiffany Haddish.

“Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?” Well, it looks like the bad boys are back! Two decades after their last Miami misadventure, Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) return in “Bad Boys: Ride or Die,” proving that some things—like a good action comedy and great chemistry—never go out-of-style. This impressive fourth installment is a guaranteed box office hit, offering high-octane thrills, laugh-out-loud moments, and a surprising amount of heart.

It’s A Bromance 

The magic of Bad Boys has always been the undeniable bond between Smith and Lawrence. Their on-screen partnership feels effortless, a testament to their long history together. They banter with ease, their comedic timing as sharp as ever. Jokes land with precision, and the audience I watched it with erupted in laughter so loud that it occasionally drowned out the next line (not a bad complaint for a comedy). I can’t be mad because I was laughing hard myself. 

This time, the boys face a personal challenge. We find them living a somewhat quieter life, Mike even settling down as a husband and father (Because he found out that he a son in the last Bad Boys film who’s a grown man). But their world is rocked when their deceased Captain Howard (Joseph Pantoliano)  is accused of corruption. Determined to clear his name, Mike and Marcus are forced to confront their own vulnerabilities. Mike, once a carefree ladies’ man, wrestles with newfound anxieties, particularly the fear of losing his family. 

For Marcus, it’s his health, and he struggles to avoid snacks, including Skittles, chips, etc. His fight with Mike about his unhealthy habits makes for good humor. Both characters’ vulnerability adds a layer of depth, making you care about them and wonder how they will navigate everything. 

Martin Lawrence and Will Smith
Martin Lawrence and Will Smith Photos Courtsey of Sony

A Nostalgic Nod to the Past

The film cleverly pays homage to its predecessors, peppered with references that fans will enjoy as much as I did. There’s a hilarious scene reminiscent of the iconic convenience store shootout, the over-the-shoulder Reggie scenes with the duo ridiculing him (but this time, it’s all out of love). There’s even a nod to Marcus’ black light sequence, where he was high off drugs during a shoot-out, which is just as hilarious as the original. The action sequences feel like a throwback, with practical effects that made action films in the 80s and 90s so popular. 

New Faces, Familiar Fun

The supporting cast adds another layer of entertainment. Mike’s son joins in on the fray, and Marus’s family returns, with his son-in-law, Reggie (Dennis Green) , surprisingly becomes a scene-stealer in the film.  Weapons expert Kelly (Vanessa Hudgens)  and techie  Dorn (Alexander Ludwig) return as allies Mike and Marcus can rely on and take a liking to. They also had their moments to shine during the action sequences, especially with the drone sequence, which was really fun to watch. 

Another noticeable item in this film is the number of cameos, from John Salley as Fletcher to the various social media influencers. It looks like the PR team is taking the film to social media to push it further, which I think is smart because the film utilizes each of the characters carefully. 

Martin Lawrence and Will Smith
Martin Lawrence and Will Smith Photos Courtsey of Sony

A Bangin’ Good Time

Bad Boys: Ride or Die isn’t reinventing the wheel of the buddy cop genre, but it doesn’t need to. It delivers exactly what fans of the franchise crave: nonstop action, hilarious laugh-out-loud moments, and a healthy dose of nostalgia. The action sequences continue to be thrilling, and the story, while simple (one side story was not fully fleshed out by the end of the film), is enough combined with the other elements to keep me entertained. 

The standout for me was Marcus because of his epiphany moment after his heart attack because it made me think about Martin’s heatstroke back in 1999, which left him in a coma for three days. I wondered if he had input on how his character acted and interacted with Mike based off the health scare. 

As for Will Smith, his character is facing a lot and struggles to find his smile because of the stress, which could, in turn, resemble his real-life recovery from the infamous “Slap” incident with Chris Rock or his relationship issues with Jada. I felt like this film was therapeutic for him and would usher his way career from under the dark period of his life. Hell, I forgot about the incident and enjoyed watching him act on screen. Hopefully, he can continue to take on these enjoyable roles. 


My rating of the film is 7/10. Bad Boys: Ride or Die is a crowd-pleasing return to form for the franchise. With its winning combination of action, humor, and heart, it’s a must-see for fans and newcomers alike. It has everything you need for a good time, including a giant albino alligator, which is ridiculous but still a fun part of the movie. Just be prepared to laugh until your ribs hurt, and maybe buy a ticket to an encore screening.

Dapper Dr Feel

Felipe Patterson aka Dapper Dr. Feel, #BlackLoveConvo & Entertainment | @fdapperdr Dapper Dr. Feel is a Entertainment journalist and member of the Critics Choice Association and African American Film Association.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Enter Captcha Here : *

Reload Image