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Bad Boys 4 Is Insanely Entertaining



Bad Boys 4

Bad Boys  4 Is Insanely Entertaining

Rating: ***

Where there is  a Will, there is  a  way  out. The  supremely engaging  Will Smith is back.His incurably popular Bad Boys  franchise  is  on to its fourth instalment.  Entitled  Bad Boys: Ride Or Die,the film  is crucial to Smith’s career. Would Will’s way be waylaid by the slapping incident at the Oscars in 2022? Not likely !

Smith  burns up the screen with his sinewy hijinks bringing to the  audience  akind of high-octane entertainment that makes the desi  Bad Boys , Akshay  Kumar and Tiger Shroff, look like amateurs.

Mike Lowrey and  Marcus Burnett are the only two cops in the Miami police force who are not seen  in uniform. Why should they? Mike  and Marcus  make their own rules  as  they hurl from  one crimebust to another.

In  Bad Boys: Ride Or Die(the tacky title sounds like  a slasher movie) the two protagonists’ age is  a  churning  issue. The flabby beginning has Marcus  suffering a  heart attack, from which he  emerges…ummmm…shall we say stronger and  Mike’s marriage  from which he  emerges lovelorn and  smoochy.

Smith’s Mike is  of course far fitter  than  his partner. He is in fine shape here,in more ways than one, delivering his one-liners with a puckish panache.

Martin Lawrence as Marcus continues to  overact  without apology. It’s the nature of  the character, what to do! His borderline-hysterical  antics are genuinely  funny at times, and  equally annoying at  other times.

The script(Chris Bremner and Will Beall) is  a watchable  construction  of  demystified screen  heroism:  Mike  and   Marcus  are no longer  the invincible  heroes they once used to be. They are older and…I am not sure if they are  any wiser.

The USP of Bad Boys has  always been the insouciant infantility of  the two heroes, here  carried to an extreme of  homophobic humour as  the blustering Marcus repeatedly draws attention to his deep, multi-life bonding with  Mike…all done with a chuckle  and a wink of course.

 Yes, the magic of platitudinous  kinship  has never  been  more strongly  upheld in the Bad Boys series. This time  the ‘Boys’(both  pushing 55)  must save the reputation of  their beloved deceased  boss (Joe Pantoliano) whose name is  incriminated  by  criminals. Mike and Marcus must track  down the main culprit  before it is too late(in other words, before Part  5 comes alive).

While  the  plotline is  wafer-thin and ridiculously reliant on extraneous  pressures to  get  bulked  up,  it  is the casual swagger that the two leading men being to their parts, that  does the  trick.

There  is  a third  hero this time, a  young  new recruit to the  fun, Jacob Scipio who plays Armando, Mike’s son from his previous marriage.Armando’s journey from prisoner to fugitive provides  the plot with the  ideal pretext to walk through its inbuilt  cliches without seeming  tired.

The plot is  leaden with  twists and turns, some  unexpected, others just the way we  expect  it to be in this reassuringly familiar franchise. Anyhow we never feel the burden  of over-statement.

I must point out that the  archvillain is not the least as formidable as we expect him to be. The world has moved on. The bad guys are no more the menacing  archetypes they used to be.Everyone is  in this for fun.

Watch out for  Marcus’ marine-trained unsmiling  son-in-law Reggie. He is  a killer.

Admittedly some portions of  this , the fourth instalment  of  the  Bad Boys  franchise are clunky. But the fun of its is to enjoy the ride even when it gets bumpy.

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