It feels good to have another Bad Boys film at the cinema, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence being one of the most likeable double acts in the history of cinema. It's been nearly thirty years since the first film burst on to the scene and made Smith in particular a megastar in Hollywood. This year sees them make their fourth outing together in Bad Boys: Ride or Die, this time becoming Miami's most wanted along the way.

When their late police captain gets linked to drug cartels, wise cracking Miami cops Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) embark on a dangerous mission to clear his name.
The Bad Boys franchise has become something that knows exactly what it is and just leans into it with no holds barred. It's a tried and tested formula that packs a punch with tons of attitude and plenty of laughs, the latter only accentuated as Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett have aged in front of our eyes. Ride or Die is like a reflective piece that looks back at the greatest hits throughout the franchise to keep the fire burning. That might sound mundane but with Adil & Bilall at the helm, it's anything but. They manage to deliver refreshing and energetic action sequences to great effect - with some brilliant surprises along the way. It's loud, in your face, and totally unapologetic about it!

It's been a franchise that has a number of high-octane action sequences but Ride or Die might just be the one that requires the most suspension of disbelief throughout. Both the action itself and the characters involved, going through pretty heavy personal issues, are pushed to the limit with Adil & Bilall intent on raising the roof. There's a few suspect writing choices from Chris Bremner and Will Beall that might make you question if you're watching a Bad Boys film but luckily they are sparingly used and often cut short with the dynamic we know and love these films for.
Speaking of dynamic, the duo of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence is one that delivers yet again. They're just so great together and honestly I could watch them make these films together well into their old age. The fact both can deliver the laughs as well as throw themselves into the action just makes for an entertaining ride, with the buddy cop formula nailed to perfection. The rest of the cast are not up to the same level as the main men however, Dennis Greene deserves a special mention as Reggie, the absolute MVP of the film. Believe me, you'll know the exact moment he earns this title in a sequence that lit the crowd up at the screening.

I remember being skeptical about Bad Boys For Life but both that and Ride or Die have squashed any doubts I had, bettering the second film of the franchise in the process. I don't think anything will top the first film but if they're going to make any more, let Adil & Bilall loose again to see what else they can do with a camera.

Verdict: ★★★★


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