Home Reviews Movies Bad Boys: Ride or Die movie review (2024)

Bad Boys: Ride or Die movie review (2024)

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Bad Boys: Ride or Die movie review (2024)

Almost everything in “Ride or Die” aggressively mirrors something in the last film, from the nausea-inducing drive through Miami that opens each installment to a close encounter with the Grim Reaper for one of the beloved characters. The previous film saw Mike Lowery (Will Smith) getting shot on South Beach, while this one gets going with Marcus Miles (Martin Lawrence) having a heart attack at Mike’s wedding to Christine (Melanie Liburd). While the attempted murder in the third film started a narrative about friendship and making the most of another chance at life, this one is used for a bit goofier purpose as Marcus believes he’s now basically immortal. After all, while he was near death, the ghost of Captain Conrad Howard (Joe Pantoliano) told him that it wasn’t his time—so now he can run through traffic, even though his wife and work life partner won’t let him eat Skittles anymore.

Whereas “For Life” had immediacy with the attempt on Mike’s life launching the plot, this one meanders for too long before getting down to business. While Marcus was clinging to life, Conrad-Wan Kenobi told him that “a storm is coming,” which turns out to be in the form of a cartel enforcer named McGrath (a truly dull and uninspired Eric Dane), who is basically just a plot function for action. One of the most poorly defined and generally incompetent villains in a blockbuster in years is introduced, framing Howard for corruption by wiring drug money into the deceased captain’s account. As the system seems to be burning Howard’s legacy, Marcus and Mike know that they have to clear his name at whatever cost, a mission that requires some insider cartel knowledge courtesy of the incarcerated Armando (the charismatic Jacob Scipio), Mike’s son from the last film.

It’s not a “Bad Boys” movie if the heroes aren’t pushing back against the system, which includes in this film a potential future Miami mayor named Lockwood (Ioan Gruffudd), who is romantic partners with Mike’s ex and the new Captain, Rita Secada (Paola Nunez). It also turns out that Captain Howard’s daughter Judy (Rhea Seehorn) is a US Marshall, and her daughter Callie (Quinn Hemphill) joins the action largely to be another eventual damsel-in-distress. A cast that’s way too big also includes Tasha Smith as Marcus’s wife Theresa (a recasting from Theresa Randle), the return of Vanessa Hudgens & Alexander Ludwig, and a bunch of random cameos, some of which are inspired, some of which are again echoes of things done better in previous films.

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