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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

“Bad boys, bad boys/whatcha you gonna do, whatcha you gonna do/ when they come for you.” If you hear these lyrics, you already know that Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) are back in the game! Bad Boys: Ride or Die premiered last Thursday, June 6th, and it has already become a blockbuster. 

The newest of the 90s movie series brought back Will Smith and Martin Lawrence to their famous characters. However, now is different and these policemen, who were heroes most of the time, are now the ones who are being persecuted. This action-comedy movie brings references to the other movies, and both protagonists need to confront their past and make hard decisions to get out of it alive.  

The movie has been a true success but it didn’t bring back only the characters to the big screen. After the polemic moment of Will Smith at the 2022 Oscars, the actor stayed hidden behind the curtain. 

A goodbye (for a while) to the Academy

To understand why Smith stayed a little far from the big screen, it is necessary to go back to the 2022 Oscars.

At that year’s ceremony, the actor was running for the Best Actor category for the movie King Richard (2021). He did get the award that night, but he is not remembered for that. He is remembered for the aggression episode against Chris Rock. The comedian was presenting the Best Documentary category when he decided to make a joke with Jada Pinkett Smith, Will´s wife. 

Rock was “playing around” with Jada´s new visuals since she had shaved hair at the time. “Jada, I love you. G. I Jane 2, can’t wait to see it”, he said, referring to Demi Moore´s character of G.I., who had her hair shaved. However, Pinkett had alopecia – a condition that causes hair loss – and, for this reason, the joke was not seen as funny, but as offensive to the actress. 

After hearing that, Smith started to swear against Chris and, then, he slapped the comedian. Then, the Academy banned him for ten years for the ceremony and other related events. The repercussion of the act was bad for Will, who decided to get away from the cinematographic world for a little time.

The comeback of the Prince of Bel-Air happened in the same year, with the premier of Emancipation, by Apple TV. The production tells the story of Peter, a man who escapes from slavery in Louisiana, seeking freedom and dignity. It was based on the true story of Gordon, an ex-slave who became known after a picture of his hurt back got published.

Though, the movie wasn’t a success and had only 45% of critical approbation and 59% public approval on Rotten Tomatoes. For this reason, the new Bad Boys movie seems to be the chance for Smith to redeem himself with his fans after the polemic episode and, who knows, get even more fans.

If it is an apology, we do accept it, Will!

Bad Boys is beyond a movie series, it’s a part of the cinematographic history. The first movie came out in 1995 and it was a success. It made 15,5 million dollars on the first weekend of the exhibition and it was a reference to how to commercialize movies at that time because it guaranteed a 141,4 million dollars gross receipt.

With the high repercussions, the saga quickly grew up. In 2003, Bad Boys 2 was released, and, after 17 years, Bad Boys: For Life premiered around the world. The third production achieved 426,5 million USD and seemed to be the last one of the series.

Although, in March, Will Smith announced on his social media the shooting conclusion for the fourth movie, letting the people know that the beloved characters would be coming back. 

Because the series surpasses generations, Smith and Lawrence characters create a connection with the ones who love the movie’s stories. Lowrey and Burnett are beyond name characters, they are a part of the actors and the public lives. It is not a coincidence that this 90s saga still gets high blockbuster numbers and is famous all around the world.

For this reason, it is possible to say that Ride or Die might be the chance for Will Smith to redeem himself to the public. His character, detective Lowrey, brings the fun and the action to the perfect point of the movie. Both actor and detective have the charisma and the stubbornness necessary to gain the audience, which is the key to the public leaving behind the Oscars controversy and accepting the actor back to the screen. 

The fourth is already in our hearts!

In the first weekend of premiering, the movie already raised 104 million dollars worldwide, proving that it might be the best blockbuster of the series. And it has the reasons to be. 

Different from the other works, the fourth one presents the story of the two policemen being persecuted instead of solving cases. It brings back other actors who were introduced in the previous movie, such as Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, and Jacob Scipio. The characters of these three and the protagonists form a group that needs to clean out the late Captain Howard’s name. 

Full of funny scenes mixed up with action, the production provides a good script and a different form of shooting. In a scene of the last part, Will Smith assumes the cameraman’s work and provides one of the coolest and unusual scenes of action in the cinema. Moreover, the action and gunfight scenes are well executed and bring up the true essence of the bad boys. 

There are also emotional scenes, such as a family moment after an extremely tense sequence and the scene where both of the protagonists sing the original theme song of the film. So, for some nostalgic feeling for the weekend, the best choice is to watch this brand new movie and, probably, the last ride of our favorite bad boys. 


The article above was edited by Malu Alcântara.

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Isabelle Bignardi

Casper Libero '26

Hi! I´m a journalism student at Cásper Líbero and I love to talk about movies, pop culture, music, astrology and books. By writing some texts for you, I hope to make a difference in the way you see these topics. Hope you like it! =)