Hold onto your mullets, peeps! Even the staunchest Will Smith dissenter might be dusted off their Miami Vice attire after the news broke about Bad Boys: Ride or Die. Two years back, the world watched awe-struck as Smith’s career took a dramatic left turn (metaphor alert!).

Martin Lawrence and Will Smith in Bad Boys: Ride or Die
Martin Lawrence and Will Smith in Bad Boys: Ride or Die | Sony Pictures

However, now, with the anticipated arrival of his new film, everyone’s wondering: Can this high-octane sequel serve as Smith’s cinematic comeback? Whispers suggest a strong box office hold for the movie. Let’s see whether Bad Boys: Ride or Die silences the haters or makes Smith Hollywood’s A-lister. 

Will Smith soars in Bad Boys return: Can high cinema score overcome post-slap skepticism? 

Will Smith
Will Smith and Martin Lawrence | Instagram

Will Smith had the greatest and worst of nights at the 2022 Oscars. His best actor win for King Richard was overshadowed by a shocking on-stage altercation. After a good two years, he appears in his next big Hollywood production, but are we prepared to go on and move on? Whether or not viewers will see Smith in Bad Boys: Ride or Die will be a fascinating question to ask.

The Bad Boys franchise consisted of two Michael Bay films from 1995 and 2003—and a reincarnation in 2020 helmed by Adil and Bilall, a Moroccan-Belgian team. It starred Smith and Martin Lawrence as Miami police detectives Mike and Marcus, who have cute tiny matching beards. Mind you, this isn’t your typical Bad Boys sequel; the stakes are high for this one. 

According to Variety, the fourth film is expected to open between $40-$50 million. It’d be a rather remarkable accomplishment if this $100 million production could gross between $40 and $50 million at opening. This would also be the second-best opening behind only Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes ($58 million), which was significantly more expensive to produce (a net $160 million). 

Critics are offering mixed reviews, though. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 67% Tomatometer rating, while on IMDb, it has a 6.7/10 score. Some praise the film’s emotional depth, whereas others find the creative liberties taken a bit jarring. But the real question still stands: Will fans separate the art from the artist? 

Will fans forgive and forget for Bad Boys: Ride or Die?

Will Smith | Picture by Gage Skidmore | Source: Wikimedia Commons
Will Smith | Picture by Gage Skidmore | Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Oscar slap memory has lingered among fans, but will they forgive and forget? Fans took to X, expressing their excitement (and outrage) for the film. While some had positive reactions, others haven’t been impressed at all. 


Bad Boys: Ride or Die bursts onto the scene with the promise of thrills driven by nostalgia and a possible return for Will Smith. But with conflicting reviews and the Oscars Slapgate still hanging over us, one key question will determine whether or not the film succeeds: Can viewers distinguish between the work of art and the artist? Only time and ticket sales will tell if Bad Boys 4 is going to be a success or a box-office bust! 

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