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Bad Boys: Ride or Die


Stars: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens, Eric Dane, Jacob Scipio, Paola Nunez, Ioan Gruffudd, Melanie Liburd, Tiffany Haddish, Joe Pantoliano, Rhea Seahorn, Quinn Hemphill, Dennis Mcdonald

Director: Adil & Billal

The subtitle of this latest comic book-style 'Bad Boys' movie is totally meaningless with regard to the plot, but I suppose it looks good on the posters.

The reputation of the good Captain Howard (Pantoliano), now dead but seen here on tape, is going down the pan, amidst 'overwhelming evidence', fabricated of course, that he's the precinct's contact with the city's drug cabal.

Rogue cops Mike (Smith) and Marcus (Lawrence), both mugging madly, are determined to clear his name and roust out the real rotten apple in the barrel. Marcus has a heart attack at Mike's wedding, but bounces back a fortnight later and, thanks to a vision, pronounces himself unkillable.

The pair enlist the help of Mike's jailbird son Armando (Scipio), but cartel boss McGrath (Dane) has other plans for the three of them. Cue explosions, firefights, the kidnap of Mike's wife (Liburd), the intervention of a giant alligator and the inevitable final confrontation.

The stars exchange well-practised banter, and find a joke or two as goons are mown down by the dozen. There's a running gag about Marcus having to go vegetarian (Ride or Diet might have been a wittier title), but when Mike tells him that 'I think your brains went out of oxygen' he might well be referring to the hapless duo who wrote this formula screenplay.

Nothing exceptional here then, just a couple of good action sequences - one when Marcus' Marine son (Mcdonald) dispatches a dozen would-be assassins single-handed - no more likely than Mike 'freezing' with the villain in his sights, or a female marshal (Seahorn) on duty with full eye makeup including false lashes - and another when our heroes, plus Armando, are trapped in a plunging helicopter.

Vertiginous camerawork and frenzied editing complete a package that fans, at least, should enjoy.

David Quinlan

USA 2024. UK Distributor: Sony (Columbia). Colour by Company 3.
115 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 3.

Review date: 04 Jun 2024