Bad Boys: Ride or Die parents guide

Bad Boys: Ride or Die Parent Guide

This film is entirely devoted to explosions with dialogue and plot thrown in as an afterthought.

Overall D

Theaters: To clear their captain's name, the Bad Boys go on the run.

Release date June 7, 2024

Violence D
Sexual Content C-
Profanity D
Substance Use C

Why is Bad Boys: Ride or Die rated R? The MPAA rated Bad Boys: Ride or Die R for strong violence, language throughout and some sexual references

Run Time: 110 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Who ordered the Grand Theft Auto fever dream with a side of thinly veiled redemption plot and extra cheese?

First, I must confess; I really enjoyed this movie. In the fourth installment of the Bad Boys franchise, Michael Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) take the law into their own hands to restore their deceased captain’s tarnished reputation when he is accused of being a dirty cop. Peril, betrayal, explosions, and chaos ensue as the pair fight it out with both the police and every gang in Miami…

The first Bad Boys movie was directed by noted explosion enthusiast Michael Bay and that original DNA is palpable in this latest installment. It feels like the kind of movie I would have written as a 15-year-old; it is filled with explosions and swearing but has no interesting features (except for the cinematography but more on that later because even that needs a caveat).

This is the movie equivalent of a late-night extra value meal; it’s hardly top tier but is somehow undeniably fun. Bad Boys: Ride or Die feels like directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah were looking for an excuse to blow things up - with the dialogue and plot thrown in as an afterthought. The screenplay selects the buddy cop lane and stays right there, tropes and all.

The entire flick is over the top, with every element taken to some sort of extreme. The one artistic stand out in this movie is the cinematography, with excellent camera work that enhances the story’s action scenes. In fact, I strongly suggest you look up some behind the scenes footage of the camera work that went into the climax. That said, this movie could give susceptible viewers motion sickness because it occasionally feels like it was shot by someone with an inner ear problem. For whatever reason, the directors saw fit to constantly tilt the camera so it looks like you are watching a portrait-framed video shot sideways on a phone; I occasionally found myself tilting my head to see what was happening.

Overall, the movie has no real redeeming message. It is straight action - and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Far be it from us to judge mindless popcorn movies. Adult fans of late 90’s and early 00’s action movies are likely to enjoy this production but I can’t recommend it for younger viewers because its entire focus is on testosterone fueled explosions. The extreme language and intense violence (including torture) make it difficult to appreciate the saccharine coated themes of family, loyalty, and redemption. Anyone looking for deep themes will be disappointed. Anyone looking to watch a movie that knows what it is and doesn’t take itself too seriously will enjoy it.

Directed by Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah. Starring Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens. Running time: 110 minutes. Theatrical release June 7, 2024. Updated

Watch the trailer for Bad Boys: Ride or Die

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Bad Boys: Ride or Die
Rating & Content Info

Why is Bad Boys: Ride or Die rated R? Bad Boys: Ride or Die is rated R by the MPAA for strong violence, language throughout and some sexual references

Violence: There are several intense fight scene. While there is not a lot of gore, there are many graphic depictions of people getting shot, stabbed, or attacked with other weapons. Fight scenes involve improvised weapons such as kettle bells, kitchen knives, and weights. There is a graphic depiction of a character having their fingernails ripped off by pliers. In a scene of domestic abuse, a woman is beaten by a man in an elevator. We see a man blended by an airplane propeller. Characters are attacked by alligators and one is eaten.
Sexual Content: There is no explicit nudity. Women are shown wearing skimpy bathing suits and there is a scene in a strip club. There is explicit reference to sexual acts. There are various scenes of married couples flirting in a sexual manner.
Profanity: There are at least 60 sexual expletives and four additional instances of extreme language. The script also features at least 36 mild instances of mild profanity, 44 scatological curses and one term of deity. Crude terms for male and female genitalia are also used.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Characters are shown drinking champagne. This is a buddy cop comedy revolving around drug dealers so there are numerous references to the drug trade but no explicit use is shown or implied between characters. Cocaine is referenced.

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Bad Boys: Ride or Die Parents' Guide

Are characters justified in taking the law into their own hands? Is it ever right to operate outside the law to achieve justice? How much did all the explosions in this movie contribute to global warming? Is there a threshold of violence or force that law enforcement cannot breach?

Home Video

Related home video titles:

If you can’t get enough of mindless, kinetic action flicks, there’s plenty to choose from, including Pain and Gain, Independence Day, Die Hard, Fast & Furious, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, Fast X, John Wick, or 21 Jump Street. Pretty much any Michael Bay movie will fit the bill – Ambulance, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Bumblebee, or Armageddon.

For a more family-friendly riff on the same topics, you can try the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Zootopia or The Bad Guys address similar topics.