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BAD BOYS: RIDE OR DIE review – The Boys Are Back

Director: Adil & Bilall
Starring: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, Paola Núñez, Eric Dane, Ioan Gruffudd, Jacob Scipio, Melanie Liburd, Tasha Smith, Tiffany Haddish, and Joe Pantoliano
Movie Length: 2 hours 5 minutes

Darren’s thoughts: At this point, you know what you are getting with a Bad Boys movie, which is basically Michael Bay’s interpretation of the buddy cop genre (and that’s ok!). Will Smith and Martin Lawrence play the requisite mismatched partners. Eric Dane (Grey’s Anatomy) plays the sinister baddie. There are car chases, explosions, and plenty of gunfights. When watching the movie, you can’t help but feel a bit nostalgic for old action movies of the 1990s. 

Ride or Die would be forgiven if it just followed the formula because the formula works. Smith and Lawrence still have chemistry. Car chases are still cool. It’s a formula for a reason. Those parts of the film are well executed and quite fun. Where the film struggles is when it tries to bring something new. For example, Ride or Die tries to invert the personalities of Smith and Lawrence, which perhaps is an attempt to mirror the trading places of the first film. Rather than bringing freshness, it feels a bit forced and undermines a lot of the movie. Similarly, the film tries to get creative with a first person shooter perspective that often just doesn’t work. One innovation that fares better is a fight scene with a supporting character observed over a ring cam.

Bad Boys is what it is. If you like throwback buddy cop action films with mismatched partners, Bad Boys will feel like a comfy old sweater – it has some holes in it and it’s showing its age, but you won’t mind slipping it on. I think seeing the prior films is a good idea, given the films frequent focus on its supporting characters from prior films, but it isn’t necessary (the plot isn’t that complicated).

Darren’s rating: B+, because I’m a huge fan of the earlier movies.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die is now in theaters.

Are you going to see the movie? Have you already? Feel free to leave a comment below or chat with us on Twitter/X at @TheConCollectve, Threads at @theconventioncollective, or Bluesky at @theconcollective.bsky.social

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Darren Shulman
Darren Shulman
Darren is a professional lawyer and amateur movie/comic/TV reviewer who is lucky enough to have found a wife who is into the same geeky things he is. Darren has been making the trip from Ohio to San Diego Comic-Con since 2009. Other interests include, in no particular order: monkeys, LEGO, dinosaurs, and playing basketball poorly.

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