KSL Movie Show review: “Bad Boys: Ride or Die” is a surprisingly engaging action adventure

Jun 7, 2024, 5:00 PM

ksl movie show host steve salles next to poster for bad boys ride or die...

Editor’s note: This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

SALT LAKE CITY — Lower expectations can be a good thing when one is walking into a movie that you’ve already seen three other iterations of before. But there’s something about this fourth movie in the franchise that made me like it as much or more than the previous films.

Perhaps I’ve just been beaten into submission, but it feels like Smith and Lawrence know each other so well that, given even a decent storyline, they can make it shine. And shine it did.

Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) have been detective partners in the Miami Police Department for a long time. Just by sheer numbers, they should have retired or died a long time ago (their first film came out 29 years ago).

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But here they are, working together to try and clear the name of their dearly departed Captain Howard (Joe Pantoliano) who was killed in the last movie. 

For some inexplicable reason, some bad guys are trying to implicate him as a dirty cop by putting a bunch of drug money offshore in his name. 

Why they would draw that kind of attention, given that Joey Pants is already dead? Makes no sense. 

What more can they do to him, besides tarnish his reputation?  Plus, now you’ve ticked off some rather determined police officers!

Mike and Marcus won’t stand for it and make it their entire mission to clear Captain Howard’s name, no matter what.

In the meantime, confirmed bachelor Mike is maturing and marrying Christine (Melanie Liburd).

He’s becoming the conservative, responsible one, while Marcus has a near-death experience, and suddenly now thinks he can’t die, so he becomes the reckless one. Ah, role reversal. Fun. 

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And you know what… to my amazement… it actually is. 

These guys have such great chemistry working together that they even manage to make the silliest of situations hilarious.  

Add to that the visual energy of their two great directors, Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, who also directed the previous “Bad Boys” movie and you have a new lease on the life of an aging franchise. 

You can tell that everyone in front of and behind the cameras were giving it their best and that includes a handful of accomplished actors brought in to play smaller, but significant roles.

Believe me. I’m just as surprised as anyone that, after nearly 30 years, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence have managed to come up with yet another engaging action adventure that is sure to please their longtime fans. 

Now, if you’re not one of those, your experience may vary wildly. 

BAD BOYS: RIDE OR DIE (B) Rated R for strong violence, language throughout and some sexual references. Starring Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig and Eric Dane. Directed by Adil & Bilall (“Bad Boys for Life” “Ms. Marvel”) – filmed in Florida. Running time: 115 minutes.

The KSL Movie Show with Andy Farnsworth and Steve Salles airs Fridays on KSL NewsRadio from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Follow the show on Facebook, and join The KSL Movie Show Club for exclusive perks by texting MOVIE to 57500.

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KSL Movie Show review: “Bad Boys: Ride or Die” is a surprisingly engaging action adventure