Bad Boys : Ride or Die Review : A marvel of action film making

Both Smith and Lawrence have grown into their roles and their comfort with each other is evident in every scene

Butch and Sundance. Murtaugh and Riggs. Carter and Lee. Every era has a buddy team that transcend pop culture. If I’m right, when you read the above names you immediately thought “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” as well as the “Lethal Weapon” and “Rush Hour” film series. For the 21st Century I offer Mike Lowery and Marcus Burnett. You can just call them Bad Boys.

We find ourselves back in beautiful Miami – the photography here is post card worthy – and find detectives Lowery (Smith) and Burnett (Lawrence) attending the wedding of the granddaughter of their late boss, Captain Howard. Things go from celebratory to chaos when it is announced that there is corruption in the Miami P.D. and that it was encouraged by Howard. Sensing a set up, the two partners soon find themselves on the run as they not only try to clear Howard’s name but discover the real culprits.

Packed with both the over the top action and well timed comedic moments, “Bad Boys: Ride of Die” is a marvel of action film making. Directors Arbi and Fallah have found a way to put the audience into the middle of the action, very similar to the work Dev Patel did with “Monkey Man. I did catch a short “making of” piece about the film and the technology used today is stunning. It’s almost like being in the middle of a live action episode of “Grand Theft Auto!”

Both Smith and Lawrence have grown into their roles and their comfort with each other is evident in every scene. You sense the chemistry the two have forged after nearly three decades. And hats off to both actors for only doing four films in that time frame. Most film series’ (I’m looking at you “Fast and the Furious”) just put out cookie cutter imitations of the past and, while they make money – my friend Carl Gottlieb once said that the only sequel that loses money is the last one – they don’t give the characters the room and time to grow on screen. I also must mention that Eric Dane makes a very impressive screen villain. The man is downright scary.

The production values are top notch, helped out, as noted in my first paragraph, by some beautiful photography created by Cinematographer Robrecht Heyvaert. The film even gets a blessing from the series original director, Michael Bay, who makes a fun cameo appearance.

When you’re done doing what I’m doing – humming the “Bad Boys” song in your head – take a trip to the local cinema and say hello to Lowery and Burnett. You won’t be disappointed.

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