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If you’re not a fan of the ever more preposterous and over the top action franchise Bad Boys: Ride or Die won’t win you over, unless you are somehow amused by Martin Lawrence’s abysmal acting.

Early on in this fourth entry of the Bad Boys series Martin Lawrence’s Marcus has a near-fatal heart attack. When he wakes up in a state of ecstatic joy and confidence, his partner Mike jokingly asks him how long exactly his brain was deprived from oxygen. The same question could be asked of the film’s screenwriters, to be honest.

The problems of Bad Boys: Ride or Die, which sends the lead detectives on a gun-toting mission to save the reputation of their deceased police captain, extend further than the outright silly, unengaging hijinks of the plot or the woefully unfunny dialogue though.

Visually returning directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah are still stuck in a juvenile bigger-is-better approach. The continuous swooping drone shots, first-person shooter camera’s and overkinetic editing make for an exhausting viewing experience. Equally grating are the family-centred morals that are crammed down your throat, not unlike they are in the Fast & Furious movies.

But what lets Ride of Die down the most is the total lack of tonal coherence. This is exemplified most in the performance of Martin Lawrence. The actor so desperately tries to wring loud, obnoxious humour from the poor script exasperation sets in from the moment he enters every scene.

This will of course not matter if you’re a fan of the Bad Boys series. In that case: this movie will give you exactly what you’re looking for. For all others: best spend your precious time on another movie.

release: 2024

director: Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah

starring: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Jacob Scipio, Paola Nuñez


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