Will surely please long-time fans

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SALT LAKE CITY — Lower expectations can be a good thing when going into a movie you've already seen three other versions of. But there's something about this fourth film in the series that I enjoyed just as much, or even more, than the previous films.

Maybe I just got beat up so hard, but I feel like Smith and Lawrence know each other well enough to make even a decent storyline shine. And they did.

Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) have long been partner detectives at the Miami Police Department. Due to their strength in numbers alone, they should have retired or died long ago (their first film was released 29 years ago).

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But now they are working together to clear the name of their deceased Captain Howard (Joe Pantoliano), who was killed in the last film.

For some inexplicable reason, some villains try to portray him as a corrupt cop by transferring a lot of drug money abroad in his name.

Why would they get so much attention when Joey Pants is already dead? That doesn't make sense.

What else can you do to him other than damage his reputation? Besides, you've now pissed off some pretty determined police officers!

Mike and Marcus won't let that happen and make it their mission to clear Captain Howard's name, no matter what.

Meanwhile, confirmed bachelor Mike grows up and marries Christine (Melanie Liburd).

He becomes the conservative, responsible one, while Marcus has a near-death experience and suddenly believes he can't die, so he becomes the reckless one. Ah, role reversal. Funny.

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And you know what… to my amazement… it actually is.

The chemistry between these guys is so good that they manage to make even the silliest situations hilarious.

Add to that the visual energy of its two great directors, Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, who also directed the previous “Bad Boys” film, and you have breathed new life into an aging franchise.

You can tell that everyone in front of and behind the camera gave their best. This includes a handful of accomplished actors who were hired for smaller but significant roles.

Believe me, I'm as surprised as anyone that after nearly 30 years, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence have managed to produce another gripping action adventure that their long-time fans are sure to enjoy.

If you are not one of them, your experience may be completely different.

BAD BOYS: RIDE OR DIE (B) Age rating R due to strong violence, language throughout and some sexual references. Cast: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig and Eric Dane. Director: Adil & Bilall (“Bad Boys for Life” “Ms. Marvel”) – filmed in Florida. Running time: 115 minutes.

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