Bad Boys 4: Ride Or Die – The DVDfever Cinema Review – Will Smith, Martin Lawrence

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Bad Boys 4: Ride Or Die… well, technically, we can only do one or the other, since I can ride in my car right now, but one day, I understand I might die. Although I’m planning on circumventing that. I’ll let you know how I do after the event.

But it’s just another stupid title for a brainless action movie, albeit one where producer Jerry Bruckheimer has returned the co-credit with the late Don Simpson, who passed away in 1996, aged just 52, a credit which has also appeared on the second and third Bad Boys films, as well as 2022’s Top Gun Maverick.

I have a feeling that in a surprisingly busy auditorium for a summer blockbuster movie, where audiences have been quite thin on the ground all year, I was the only person in the room who spotted the above point. Similarly, at one point, one character wonders into the road, causing all the traffic to stop, as well as being shouted at by a very angry Porsche 911 driver… which is a cameo from Michael Bay, director of the first two movies. I would’ve taken a straw poll from everyone else in the room if they’d all hung around after the credits to find out if they’d spotted who that was but, as usual, I was alone again, naturally.

But, about an intro, and Marcus (Martin Lawrence) needs a sugar fix, even though he really needs to be watching his weight, but that’s brought into the plot, since he’s almost the same size as retrogaming scammer Metal Jesus Rocks!

Unlike him, Marcus gets interrupted by a man robbing the store at gunpoint, but the former is less worried about him, and moreso about how much Mike (slugger Will SmithGemini Man) will complain when he has to follow his cop partner in, because he’s taking too long.

But everything in moderation, since after Mike marries his therapist, Christine (Melanie Liburd), Marcus has a heart attack ending up in hospital, leading to a revelation which makes him feel like a changed man, to the point where he thinks he can’t die. Meanwhile, later on, Mike is also feeling his age, having a panic attack at one point.

That’s your health update quickly out of the way, since while Marcus is told by the doctor to avoid stress, that’s all out of the window a moment later and for the rest of the movie.

Since Captain Howard (Joe PantolianoMidnight Run) was killed in the last film, he’s now being framed by a bad guy to have dodgy money paid into his account. Of course, no-one believes he didn’t do it, including the new boss, Rita (Paola NuñezResident Evil (2022)), and her slimy boyfriend, mayor Lockwood (Ioan GruffuddTitanic). However, the scene where baddie James McGrath (Eric DaneX-Men: The Last Stand) does the deed is yet another clichéd one where tertiary characters get bumped off, just because they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, and I hate that, because they did nothing wrong to get caught up in this, and now they’re no longer breathing.

McGrath also carries this out by shooting one individual right next to him, so the amount of blood splatter and their DNA would be all over him. Still, he doesn’t care about that, because his team is made up almost exclusively of musclar men with limp-dick goatees, plus the token lesbian character, and token East Asian hottie, the latter being Levy Tran (Expend4bles) as Wolf. Not that her’s, or any other baddie’s character name matters, as no-one is ever namechecked apart from McGrath.

Mike and Marcus are sent a video from Howard, seemingly beyond the grave, where he tells them they must fight to clear his name, because – as shown in the trailer – “I’m probably dead“, after which he explodes in a fit of expletives, as one would. However, that whole rant is GONE from this film! WHY?! It was GREAT! Plus, the mention of “I’m probably dead” is quite muffled, and something has gone seriously amiss with this scene. Jeez, today’s directors haven’t got a fucking clue!

Because reasons, Mike’s son, Armando (Jacob Scipio), is brought back into the caper, despite the slight hitch of being in jail. However, this leads to one of a number of spectacularly hilarious action scenes, this one being him being taken up in a Con Air-style plane, and everyone just an inch from death, but surviving, despite the plane eventually crashing and no-one suffering even but a splinter.

Of course, all the cops want to bring in Mike, Marcus and Armando, but we know precisely what their fate is going to be. It’s all about the journey, not the destination. However, when the cops run round with guns, shooting at bad guys, why doesn’t any of them wear protective helmets? A quick gunshot to the head, and they’re dead!

Still, don’t count out the dangerous alligator which gets brought into the plot in a Florida water amusement park, that just happens to be surviving, despite the place being abandoned.

Will is 55, Martin is 59, yet American cops are supposed to retire at 50. Still, it’s all Martin Lawrence seems to have to do, these days, so I expected this film will be a massive hit, and Bad Boys 5 won’t be far behind, same as the token shot of them getting up from the ground as the camera pans around them.

Yes, the plot is a bit of a mess, but Bad Boys 4: Ride Or Die brings in what most blockbusters completely forget to include, especially this year: humour. Plus, far better action scenes which I’d have expected to have more of a place in The Fall Guy.

I never got round to seeing 2020’s Bad Boys For Life until it aired on TV, and shortly after that, Channel 4 also brodcast Bad Boys II and Bad Boys… yes, in that order. Still, it’s not just them. Two weeks ago, BBC1 showed Ralph Breaks The Internet at the weekend. This weekend, it’s Wreck-It Ralph. Who’s in charge of scheduling? Stevie Wonder?!

Overall, I enjoyed this film far more than I expected, laughing a lot, and despite their ages and the fact their characters should be retired, I’m looking forward to their return, which is a sure thing.

As an aside, Reba McIntyre drops in a brief cover of the ‘Bad Boys’ theme at a key moment, and there’s also a rap cover of Tonight Tonight Tonight by the band fronted by Phil Collins. Cue Genesis.

Bad Boys 4: Ride Or Die is in cinemas now, and is available to pre-order on Limited 4K Blu-ray Steelbook, 4K Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD, ahead of its release date TBA.

Bad Boys 4: Ride Or Die – Official Trailer – Sony Pictures Entertainment

Detailed specs:

Running time: 115 minutes
Release date: June 5th 2024
Studio: Sony Pictures Releasing
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (ARRIRAW (4.6K), Redcode RAW, Anamorphic Panavision)
Cinema: Odeon Trafford Centre
Rating: 8/10

Directors: Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah (as Adil and Bilall)
Producers: Doug Belgrad, Jerry Bruckheimer, Chad Oman, Will Smith
Screenplay: Chris Bremner, Will Beall
Characters: George Gallo
Music: Lorne Balfe

Mike Lowrey: Will Smith
Marcus Burnett: Martin Lawrence
Kelly: Vanessa Hudgens
Dorn: Alexander Ludwig
Rita: Paola Nuñez
James McGrath: Eric Dane
Lockwood: Ioan Gruffudd
Armando: Jacob Scipio
Christine: Melanie Liburd
Theresa: Tasha Smith
Judy: Rhea Seehorn
Tabitha: Tiffany Haddish
Captain Howard: Joe Pantoliano
Manny: DJ Khaled
Wolf: Levy Tran
Fletcher: John Salley
Megan: Bianca Bethune
Reggie: Dennis Mcdonald
Callie: Quinn Hemphill
Lintz: Derek Russo
Porsche 911 Driver: Michael Bay