Bad Boys by Adil El Arbi & Billal Fallah

Bad Boys: Ride or Die

Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah’s second iteration of the Bad Boys franchise is a fun popcorn-munching comedy action blockbuster.

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are back as the Bad Boys for the fourth time in 29 years. The second installment, directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, follows up the events of the 2020s Bad Boys For Life. Mike Lowrey moves on from arresting his son and getting married. Meanwhile, Marcus Burnett has a health scare and goes crazier than ever. If this reminds you of something along the lines of Lethal Weapon 4 “getting old” premise, it’s because it is. The duo is in their 50s.

The directing pair keep characterizing themselves as very visual filmmakers. As well as the fast-paced action of today’s “Post-John Wick” world of loud, bone-crushing, visceral action. They enjoy color and neon lights. So much they could’ve nailed the look Joel Schumacher was going for in his Batman movies. That cinematic flair makes them the perfect successors to Michael Bay in the franchise.

Say what you say about Bay, but his flashy cinematography is something to look for in his films. And when he’s not overdoing his thing and putting the patriotism and juvenile sense of humor aside, his movies are actually…good. A perfect example is the first Bad Boys. The film was heavily improvised, but it worked so well that almost 30 years later, we’re watching its third sequel.

The Successors

This scene is as good as the trailer promises—property of Sony Pictures Releasing.

Although Bad Boys was a smash hit, its sequel, Bad Boys II, was even more acclaimed by action lovers for its nihilism, crass humor, and non-stop action. But times have changed, and the world is better off without Michael Bay’s casual misogynism and childish hijinks. That’s where the El Arbi and Fallah step in. They seem to love the characters as much as we loved them, and they’ll take them to new emotional levels. There is something about these two new Bad Boys films. They are more human than Bay’s predecessors.

Not only Ride or Die make Bad Boys For Life better, but they also work together as one story. A story about *sighs* family (is this why people are comparing these sequels with Fast and Furious?) coming together against the odds caused by a corrupt system. It’s a racially intense movie that mirrors our reality as people of color. In Bad Boys II, Michael Bay was a white man directing two black guys to disguise themselves as KKK members. This time is different. It’s two directors of Moroccan descent with something to say about racism. Humorously, of course. It’s great to have them as the new directors of Bad Boys.

What happened to Batgirl?

So, what do we wanna talk about to close this review? If they’re great action directors. What happened to Batgirl? Look at these two Bad Boys sequels. They’re Bad Boys sequels! They don’t have any right to be that good. Still, they did it! The cinematography, the action sequences, the comedic timing of the characters. They have all the ingredients to make a good. There is no way Batgirl was turning out to be a bad movie. It’s not just possible after watching what they’re doing with this franchise and Ms. Marvel…a comic book series.

David Zaslav is obviously an executive asshole, and he doesn’t care about fandom. This is why it’s important to remember that movies are being unreleased, and we can’t allow that to continue. In the meantime, let’s enjoy the fun things getting released. Bad Boys: Ride or Die is one of them.  

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