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"Bad Boys: Ride or Die" – A Safe Space for Action (and a Bit of Nostalgia)



6-8-24

In a world full of uncertainty and chaos, sometimes you just want a movie that feels like slipping into an old, familiar pair of shoes. Enter “Bad Boys: Ride or Die,” the fourth installment of the Bad Boys franchise, which has been hitting screens with the same gusto since the mid-90s. This film has all the hallmarks of a classic summer action flick: gunfights, car chases, and explosions galore. Yet, despite the frenetic pace and the glittering backdrop of Miami, something about this cinematic escapade feels oddly... safe.



Yes, safe. Now, I know "safe" isn't a word you’d typically associate with a movie featuring more bullets than a military arsenal and more explosions than a 4th of July fireworks show, but hear me out. These are two formidable actors with decades of succcess (and a slap across Chris Rock's face) on their resumes. We know whar we're getting along with hthe glamour and glitz of Miami.

Safe Space for Smith

“Bad Boys: Ride or Die” is more than just a movie; it’s a comfortable retreat for Will Smith. After a tumultuous few years that included a string of critically acclaimed roles and a particularly memorable Oscar slap that had everyone talking (for better or worse), Smith needed a place to regroup.

And what better place than alongside his old buddy, Martin Lawrence, back in the neon-soaked, bikini laden streets of Miami?

In this installment, Smith and Lawrence, now in their 50s, bring their well-worn chemistry to the fore, bantering like an old married couple. They’re like your favorite uncle and his buddy at a family BBQ, squabbling over the grill while tossing beers and reminiscing about the good ol’ days. It’s endearing, if a bit predictable.





Action: Still Got It... Kind Of

Despite their advancing years, both stars still manage to pull off their roles with a surprising amount of credibility. Smith’s Mike Lowrey is as sharp and stylish as ever, while Lawrence’s Marcus Burnett continues to provide comic relief with his over-the-top reactions and classic one-liners. However, the movie’s standout action sequence – a jaw-dropping, gravity-defying set piece that feels like it parachuted in from a Fast & Furious film – doesn’t actually involve our dynamic duo at all. This moment, while thrilling, underscores a certain tiredness in the rest of the film’s action choreography.

Miami, the Eternal Star

Ah, Miami. The backdrop that is as much a character in the Bad Boys films as Smith and Lawrence themselves. This sun-soaked, neon-lit city is where dreams are made and, in this case, where action movies go to sparkle, even when they fizzle elsewhere. Despite the stale feeling of the movie's core elements, Miami’s vibrancy injects a much-needed dose of life into the proceedings.

From the opening shot, Miami does its best to distract you with its shiny yachts, dazzling nightlife, and, of course, the obligatory scans of bikini-clad bodies frolicking on sun-drenched beaches. It’s like the movie is waving its hands wildly, saying, "Look here! It’s fun! It’s summer! You’re having a good time, right?" And for a brief moment, you might just believe it.



Nostalgia: A Double-Edged Sword

“Bad Boys: Ride or Die” leans heavily on nostalgia, with callbacks and Easter eggs sprinkled throughout like seasoning on an overcooked steak. The familiar strains of that iconic Bad Boys song play, and you can’t help but bob your head, even if it’s the hundredth time you’ve heard it. But like that overused steak seasoning, it can sometimes overwhelm the flavor, leaving you longing for something fresher.

The film attempts to recapture the magic of its predecessors, but instead, it often feels like it’s treading water, relying on old tricks and familiar faces to keep you entertained. The squabbling, the high-octane chases, the playful nods to the past – they all have a “been there, done that” quality.



Verdict: A Summer Action Flick with Safety Nets

In the end, “Bad Boys: Ride or Die” isn’t about breaking new ground or pushing the envelope. It’s about giving fans a comfortable, familiar ride through a world they’ve come to know and love. Sure, it might feel a bit like a relic, but it’s a shiny, action-packed relic with just enough glitz and glamour to keep you engaged.

So, if you’re looking for a safe haven amidst the summer blockbusters, a place where you can watch things go boom while reminiscing about the good ol’ days, then hop on board. Just don’t expect any surprises – after all, this is Bad Boys, and they’ve been riding this wave for nearly 30 years.





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