Bad Boys 4 movie review: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence serve a stale dish. Is it time for cop buddies to retire? | Hollywood - Hindustan Times
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Bad Boys 4 movie review: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence serve a stale dish. Is it time for cop buddies to retire?

BySamarth Goyal
Jun 06, 2024 01:58 PM IST

This instalment brings back the beloved duo of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence with a trademark mix of action, comedy, and over-the-top drama.

In Bad Boys 4, the explosive saga of Miami's most reckless cops continues, but this time, it seems they might have misplaced their mojo along with their sense of logic. Directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, this instalment reunites Will Smith and Martin Lawrence for another round of chaotic action and questionable decision-making. (Also read: Hollywood’s ‘Bad Boy’ Will Smith gives a glimpse of real action shot vs reel action show. Watch viral video)

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence bring back Mike and Marcus for another ride in a patrol car.
Will Smith and Martin Lawrence bring back Mike and Marcus for another ride in a patrol car.

If you were hoping for a nostalgic trip back to the high-octane thrills and banter of the previous films, brace yourself for a ride that’s more like a meandering detour filled with pointless cameos and a plot that's as convoluted as it is unnecessary.

The plot

The story kicks off with a dramatic event: Marcus, the junk-food-loving cop, suffers a near-fatal heart attack at Mike's wedding to his new girlfriend Christine (Melanie Liburd). This incident introduces a new, goofy spirituality to Marcus's character, which feels oddly out of place given his previous portrayals. Mike, meanwhile, is grappling with panic attacks stemming from unresolved guilt over his son Armando (Jacob Scipio), whose dark storyline was central to Bad Boys for Life.

The plot thickens as Marcus and Mike discover that their late boss, Captain Howard (Joe Pantoliano), is being framed for taking bribes by sinister cartel bosses. This conspiracy is meant to divert attention from the corruption within the establishment. True to form, Marcus and Mike decide to operate outside the law to bring the real culprits to justice, a narrative device that has become a staple of the franchise.

Needless additions

The inclusion of modern influencers like Jay Shetty and Khaby, along with appearances by Tiffany Haddish and DJ Khaled, feels forced and unnecessary. Their presence seems like a desperate attempt to inject contemporary relevance into the film, but it only highlights the lack of a compelling plot. The action sequences, characterized by rapid cuts and excessive explosions, seem designed to distract from the fact that both lead actors are no longer in their prime. Instead of adapting the action to suit their age, the filmmakers chose to mask it with frenetic editing and clichéd set pieces.

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence reunite for a fourth team-up.
Will Smith and Martin Lawrence reunite for a fourth team-up.

Nostalgia is heavily leaned upon, with numerous throwbacks to the previous three films. However, these callbacks often come across as lazy attempts to recapture the magic of the earlier movies rather than adding any meaningful depth to the current story. However, the callbacks involving Reggie (Marcus' son-in-law), now a Marine who saves Marcus' family, work well and offer some satisfaction as the cops finally decide to stop bullying him.

Marcus's newfound joie de vivre and his role as comic relief are at odds with the film's darker undertones, making his character feel disjointed and out of sync with the rest of the narrative.

Despite its 115-minute runtime, Bad Boys 4 feels overly long and drawn out. The initial promise quickly gives way to a tedious and predictable plot that fails to engage. The film’s pacing suffers, and by the end, viewers are left wondering what happened to the vibrant energy and chemistry that defined the earlier instalments.

Overall, it struggles to find its footing amidst a convoluted plot, misplaced comedic elements, and an overreliance on action clichés. While Martin Lawrence's comedic talent still shines through, it isn't enough to save the film from its many shortcomings. Fans of the franchise might find some moments of enjoyment, but overall, this installment will make them hope that maybe this is the final instalment, after which the two call it a day from Miami PD!

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