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FILM REVIEW: BAD BOYS – RIDE OR DIE (15) ESP RATING: 3.5/5


The Bad Boys have saved the summer – by doing what they do best!


There doesn’t seem to have been any ‘Oscar-gate’ hangover for Will Smith, as he re-teams with Martin Lawrence for the fourth instalment in the action-comedy series – and this ticks all the right entertainment boxes.



It won’t win any awards for ingenuity – the script could have been ripped from any action movie from the nineties – but the directors from ‘For Life’ are back with a high-octane adventure that fires out what a fun blockbuster should be, also kick-starting a very lacklustre start to the box-office season to boot.



And it’s actually Lawrence who steals the show with his comedic deliveries – there’s the odd miss, but most definitely hit – undoubtedly providing, the sometimes side-splitting, highlights of the film.


Even though a shoot-out that showcases his son-in-law marine Reggie (Dennis Greene) is arguably the absolute stand-out action sequence.



For die-hards of the franchise this really takes it back to the iconic 1995 original (up there with Beverly Hills Cop as my favourite action-comedy of all-time) – with plenty of fan service. Enter ‘Skittles’ scene here.



The third entry started in distress with Detective Mike Lowrey (Smith) being gunned down, and this begins in a similarly emotive fashion with his cop partner, Marcus Burnett (Lawrence), having a mild heart attack at Lowrey’s wedding to his new love, therapist Christine (Melanie Liburd).



Upon recovery, a new ‘reflective’ – forced-to-be-healthy by his wife Theresa (Tasha Smith replacing Theresa Randle) – Burnett (who also now thinks he’s ‘bullet proof’) has to fast-track his recovery, by getting straight back into the action with Lowrey to tackle a new case.



Said case is their late old boss, Captain Conrad Howard (Joe Pantoliano), getting framed in a corruption scandal linked to the mafia, and the duo fight to clear his name, with help from colleagues – Dom (Alexander Ludwig), Kelly (Vanessa Hudgens) and Rita (Paola Nunez) all returning from the last film – and district attorney Adam Lockwood (Fantastic Four’s Ioan Gruffudd).



Along the way Lowrey’s son Armando (Jacob Scipio) – again showing continuity from Bad Boys for Life – lends a helping hand from behind bars, as a fairly linear plot evolves, ending with an enjoyable shoot-out at an abandoned alligator theme park.


In between enter Eric Dane’s (X-Men: The Last Stand) passably stereotypical ex-US army ranger villain James McGrath as the main antagonist, and this all comes together into an entertaining thrill-ride.


And for the fourth entry, it’s arguably better than most people would have expected at this point – as this definitely ‘rides’ with the series showing no sign of ‘dying’ just yet.

 

Rating: 3.5/5

 

Gavin Miller




 

Showcase Cinema De Lux Peterborough, Out Now

Cast: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Jacob Scipio, Eric Dane, Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, Paola Nunez, Ioan Gruffudd, Tasha Smith, Tiffany Haddish, Melanie Liburd, Dennis Greene, Rhea Seehorn, Quinn Hemphill, John Salley, Dj Khaled & Joe Pantoliano

Running Time: 1 Hr 55 Mins

Directors: Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah

 

Go to www.showcasecinemas.co.uk for all the latest film information & showtimes at Peterborough’s Showcase Cinema De Lux

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