Bad Boys: Ride Or Die’s Ending Explained

Bad Boys: Ride or Die’s ending ties up loose plot threads from previous films and emphasizes a major theme carried over from the previous entry in the series. The fourth installment in the Bad Boys franchise reunites Will Smith and Martin Lawrence as Mike and Marcus, a pair of Miama police detectives. Each film in the series has featured absurd action, with the duo dispatching hundreds of unidentified criminals over the years. Between the second and third films, fifteen years had passed, and Bad Boys For Life focused on how new generations of cops, such as Vanessa Hudgens’ Kelly and Alexander Ludwig’s Dorn, can help them in the future.

Five years later, the characters in Bad Boys: Ride or Die discover some major retcons in the series’ history, revealing that Captain Howard’s death in Bad Boys For Life was linked to a secretive plot that has been controlling Miama for years. Mike and Marcus are also given the opportunity to confront more complex and personal dilemmas, such as Mike’s relationship with his son Armando (played by Jacob Scipio) and Marcus’ near-fatal encounter. Although the film resolves the majority of these plots by the end, Bad Boys: Ride or Die also subtly teases potential directions for future films in the series, laying the groundwork for the Bad Boys franchise.

Bad Boys: Ride Or Die’s Villain Plan and Franchise Retcons Explained

Bad Boys: Ride or Die subtly retcons two of the series’ previous films, linking them all through a large-scale conspiracy involving drug cartels and Miami police. One of the major revelations in Bad Boys: Ride or Die revolves around Lockwood, an attorney, and James McGrath, a member of the United States military. It turns out that the two were involved in a cartel conspiracy, allowing drugs to be transported into Florida in exchange for their assistance in border monitoring. While the plan was intended to “protect” the nation from terrorists in the aftermath of 9/11, it eventually corrupted the authority in Miami.

The drug trafficking in Bad Boys 2 is revealed to have been part of this conspiracy, as is Isabel Aretas from Bad Boys For Life. Following the events of Bad Boys 2, Captain Howard became suspicious and spent years investigating the conspiracy. This was the true reason he was added to Isabel’s hit list, resulting in his death at the hands of Armando in Bad Boys For Life. The revelation ties all of the films together into a larger conspiracy that used police and military power to advance the drug trade in Miami. This also makes McGrath and Lockwood two of the Bad Boys franchise’s most prominent villains.

Why did Mike let Armando escape?

Bad Boys For Life introduced Armando. It turns out that he is not only Mike’s biological son but also his mother Isabel’s chief assassin. After sparing his father at the end of Bad Boys For Life, Armando was eventually taken into custody for his crimes. In Bad Boys: Ride or Die, Armando is crucial because he is the only person who can recognize McGrath and unravel the Miama Police Department’s plot. A significant portion of the second film follows Armando as he, Mike, and Marcus attempt to get to the city in order to find out what is going on. In the movie’s finale, Armando joins forces with Mike and his allies in AMMO to take down McGrath. He sustains serious injuries in the process, but manages to survive the battle.

After saving Howard’s granddaughter Callie, Armando receives an unexpected gift from Judy, Callie’s resentful mother. Mike now has the opportunity to assist Armando in escaping. After discovering a point of agreement and demonstrating Armando’s capacity for atonement, Mike lets Amarndo go so he can possibly follow a more noble route. In later tales, Armando might assume command by coming back into Mike’s life or perhaps even enforcing his own brand of justice elsewhere. Mike’s willingness to allow Armando to get away demonstrates his belief in his son’s prospects for success.

The Interpretation Of Marcus’s Visions

Marcus almost dies of a heart attack at Mike’s wedding in Bad Boys: Ride or Die. This causes the character to have a series of visions that affect him for the rest of the film, including convincing him that he has become functionally invincible because it is “not his time yet.” One of the most significant of these visions is of Howard, whom Marcus sees standing on the beach near a tree and a parrot. Howard appears to tell Marcus that death hasn’t come for him yet. This serves as foreshadowing for the film’s conclusion, in which Marcus discovers a similar tree and parrot before being apprehended by McGrath.

When forced to choose between killing Marcus or his wife Theresa, Mike realizes Marcus’ belief in his invulnerability was a ruse at the time. Mike surprises McGrath by shooting Marcus non-fatally in his bullet-proof vest, allowing him to shoot the villain multiple times. Marcus survives the film’s ending, but appears to come to terms with his mortality again, insulting Mike for shooting him to save the day.

How Bad Boys: Ride Or Die Prepares For A Sequel

Bad Boys: Ride or Die ends on a largely positive note for the main characters, with Marcus and Mike safely reunited with their families. While Mike has no idea what happened to Armando, his role in the film’s climax and their farewell suggest that the character will continue to be a heroic figure in the future. A potential sequel could reintroduce the character and check in on his future endeavors, confirming whether Mike’s hopes for his son are justified. The ending of Bad Boys: Ride or Die is a major victory for AMMO, as Rita and Dorn both survive their near-fatal encounters in the film’s final stretch.

Even with the secret conspiracy at the heart of the films resolved, there are some loose ends in the Bad Boys universe that could be addressed in a sequel. Lockwood’s public and romantic association with Rita may raise questions about her integrity in the future. The cartel alliance with Lockwood and McGrath has ended, potentially leaving a vacuum for other criminals to fill. Mike and Marcus are also confronted with their mortality in the film, which could be expanded on in a sequel that truly forces them to face their age.

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