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Every Returning Actor In Bad Boys: Ride Or Die

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Summary

  • Bad Boys: Ride or Die honors past films while telling a modern story, with returning actors adding to the legacy of the franchise.
  • The inclusion of actors like Jacob Scipio and Paola Núñez adds depth to the series, bringing in familiar faces and talents.
  • With surprise cameos from actors like Vanessa Hudgens and Dennis Greene, the Bad Boys series continues to blend humor and action.

The Bad Boys franchise has been around for almost 30 years, and Bad Boys: Ride or Die included plenty of returning actors from previous entries. As the fourth film in the series, Bad Boys: Ride or Die had a lot to live up to and more than delivered on audiences’ expectations of returning characters and seeing familiar faces. While the reappearance of Martin Lawrence and Will Smith as police partners, Marcus Burnett and Mike Lowery, was pretty much guaranteed, other returning actors were less assured.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die did a great job of paying homage to the legacy of this buddy cop action franchise while also telling a story that felt modern and relevant. Plenty of characters from past movies showed up, and it was great as a viewer to witness the continuity between the very first Bad Boys and this latest installment. With some surprise appearances and notable Bad Boys cameos, seeing all the returning actors in Bad Boys: Ride or Die was a big part of this newest movie’s appeal.

12 Jacob Scipio

Jacob Scipio as Armando Aretas

The British actor Jacob Scipio joined the Bad Boys franchise in 2020 as the villain Armando Aretas in Bad Boys for Life. A central antagonist, Armando, was the son of Isabel Aretas and Mike Lowrey, of whose existence Mike was totally unaware. While Scipio joined the franchise as a villain, his character became an ally of Mike and Marcus in Bad Boys: Ride or Die as a helicopter crash led to him becoming a fugitive and helping with the plan to clear the late Captain Conrad Howard’s name that had been unfairly dragged through the mud.

Scipio’s career started with short films and British television series, and he made his acting debut in a major feature in the Bad Boys franchise. Since then, Scipio has built a resume with parts in films like The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent and Expend4bles. Now Scipio has returned to reprise his first role in Bad Boys for Life, where he’s showcased his importance to the overall narrative, familial connection, and growing bond with his father, Mike.

11 Paola Núñez

Paola Núñez as Rita Secada

Paola Núñez as Captain Rita Secada in Bad Boys Ride or Die trailer
Image via Sony Pictures

Paola Núñez first appeared in Bad Boys for Life as Rita Secade, the head of the Advanced Miami Metro Operations (AMMO) and ex-girlfriend of Mike Lowery. In Bad Boy: Ride or Die, Rita assisted with the plan to clear Howard’s name and was also seen as the new girlfriend of the mayoral candidate, Adam Lockwood. With an important connection to Mike’s past, it was great to see the duo reunited once again in Bad Boys: Ride or Die as their interesting dynamic as former lovers played out.

Núñez hailed from Mexico and has been known for her appearance in many Spanish-language movies and television series over the years. She has also appeared in other major productions like The Purge anthology show, the Resident Evil television series, and The Fall of the House of Usher on Netflix. As a talented actress across different genres, Núñez has been making a name for herself in ever-larger productions in recent years, with her role in the Bad Boys franchise being one of her most significant parts.

10 Vanessa Hudgens

Vanessa Hudgens as Kelly

Vanessa Hudgens as Kelly in Bad Boys for Life

While many viewers will know Vanessa Hudgens from her breakout role in the High School Musical series, she’s also recognizable as the recurring character Kelly in the Bad Boys franchise. Hudgens appeared in both Bad Boys for Life and Bad Boys: Ride or Die as a weapons expert for AMMO. With a significant following outside of the Bad Boys franchise, Hudgens was a great addition to the cast, whose appearance will help encourage viewers unfamiliar with this action-comedy series to give this latest installment a chance.

Hudgens made her film debut in 2003 with the release of the controversial teen drama Thirteen and she soon became a household name due to the mainstream success of High School Musical. As a talented and versatile actress, Hudgens also had acclaimed roles in the crime comedy Spring Breakers and the musical biopic Tick, Tick… Boom! The inclusion of Hudgens as Kelly in the Bad Boys franchise added to its already impressive roster of secondary characters.

9 Alexander Ludwig

Alexander Ludwig as Dorn

Alexander Ludwig and Vanessa Hudgens Standing Around in Bad Boys for Life

Another actor who joined the Bad Boys franchise in 2020 with the release of Bad Boys for Life was Alexander Ludwig as the tech expert for AMMO named Dorn. In Bad Boys: Ride or Die, Dorn was revealed to be dating his fellow AMMO member Kelly, which added complexity to the unique relationships between the different characters. As a series that first began in the 1990s, including actors like Lugwig as Dorn helped add youthful energy to the series as its main stars have grown older.

Ludwig is a Canadian actor and musician who first gained recognition as a teenager in films like The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising and Race to Witch Mountain before he gained the role of Cato in The Hunger Games. However, Ludwig’s most notable role was as Björn Ironside in the historical drama Vikings. Over the years, Ludwig has slowly built up an impressive array of credits, and his role in the Bad Boys series has given him some real action movie credentials.

8 John Salley

John Salley as Fletcher

Marcus, Mike, and Fletcher Looking at One Another in Bad Boys

The former basketball player John Salley has been involved with the Bad Boys franchise since the very first movie and even returned for the most recent installment, Bay Boys: Ride or Die. Salley portrayed Fletcher, the hacker Mike and Marcus pulled out of custody to hack into Officer Eddie Dominguez’s police database profile, a role he reprised in Bad Boys II and the spin-off TV show LA’s Finest. With this long-standing history in mind, it was great to see Salley return as Fletcher nearly 30 years after he first appeared in the series.

Salley’s athletic career saw him play basketball for the Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors, Chicago Bulls, Panathinaikos, and Los Angeles Lakers. Alongside his sports achievements, Salley has built up an impressive array of film and TV credits and has also frequently made guest appearances on reality TV shows. As a character who dated back to the franchise’s beginning, the return of Salley as Fletcher was a testament to the Bad Boys series’ impactful legacy.

7 DJ Khaled

DJ Khaled as Manny the Butcher

DJ Khaled as Manny the Butcher in Bad Boys for Life

Like so many other returning characters, DJ Khaled made his Bad Boys debut in the third movie as Manny the Butcher, a former confidential informant of Mike Lowery. In Bad Boys for Life, Manny was adamant that he left his criminal life behind him, but a bounty of $5 million on Mike Marcus was enough to lure Manny back to his wayward ways. It was out of this context that Mike and Marcus encountered Manny once again with a gang of bikers, all eager to take their cut of money.

DJ Khaled, as his name suggested, was notable for his work as a DJ, record producer, and record executive, as he’s worked with some of the biggest names in music. However, through the Bad Boys franchise, he’s also signaled an interest in acting and previously worked with Will Smith as a voice in the animated film Spies in Disguise. It was exciting to see Khaled return to the Bad Boys series in Bad Boys: Ride or Die among the impressive list of cameo appearances from notable characters.

6 Bianca Bethune

Bianca Bethune as Megan Burnett

Megan Burnett Smiling while standing next to Reggie in Bad Boys

Bianca Bethune has been part of the Bad Boys series since the second installment and played Marcus’ daughter Megan in Bad Boys II, Bad Boys for Life, and now Bad Boys: Ride or Die. An important part of the series, Megan’s relationship with her boyfriend and later husband, Reggie, contributed to some of the funniest moments in Bad Boys. As Marcus’s only daughter, his overprotective nature toward his child has always been a source of great humor in Bad Boys.

Bethune’s role in Bad Boys was among the most significant in her career and one she has returned to over the years. Outside the Bad Boys franchise, Bethune has also made several TV appearances in sitcoms like Everybody Hates Chris and Zoey 101. However, Bethune’s largest non-Bad Boys role was as Sharee Gifford in the teen drama Switched At Birth, where she appeared in 16 episodes.

5 Dennis Greene

Dennis Greene as Reggie McDonald

Martin Lawrence as Detective Sergeant Marcus Miles Burnett and Will Smith as Detective Sergeant Michael Eugene "Mike" Lowrey in the Reggie (Dennis Greene) interrogation scene in Bad Boys II (2003)

The return of Dennis Greene as Reggie McDonald in Bad Boys for Life was a real highlight of the series, as his first appearance was among the funniest moments in Bad Boys II. That’s why it was so great to see Reggie return once again in Bad Boys: Ride or Die. Now firmly rooted in Marcus’ family and married to Megan, Reggie’s appearances have remained some of the most hilarious Bad Boys moments as Marcus undermines his career as a U.S. Marine Master Sergeant.

As an actor, Dennis Greene’s most significant appearances have been in the Bad Boys series, and he was not known for any other work outside of it. This lack of other acting experience outside the franchise made it all the more special to see Greene return as Reggie in the two most recent Bad Boys movies. As a real fan-favorite character, Reggie’s inclusion conjured up nostalgia for the previous entries in the franchise.

4 Michael Bay

Michael Bay as a Porsche driver

Michael Bay's cameo in Bad Boys for Life
Custom Image by Debanjana Chowdhury

Michael Bay’s surprise cameo appearance in Bad Boys for Life was an incredible scene that set the bar very high for Bad Boys: Ride or Die. As the director of the first two installments in the series, seeing Bay show up acted as a powerful reflection of the franchise’s legacy and felt like a symbolic passing of the torch, as it was the first Bad Boys film he was not as actively involved in. While viewers had hoped Bay would return for the fourth movie, this was not a certainty, so it was a nice surprise to see him once again.

However, rather than reprise his role as the speaker at Marcus’ daughter’s marriage to Reggie, it seemed he played a new character in Bad Boys: Ride or Die. Here, Bay played a Porsche driver who told Mike and Marcus to get off the road. As the characters did not seem to recognize one another, the assumption can be made that this was an entirely different character from the one he had already played in Bad Boys for Life.

3 Joe Pantoliano

Joe Pantoliano as Captain Conrad Howard

Joe Pantoliano as Captain Conrad Howard in Bad Boys Ride or Die trailer
Image via Sony Pictures

Joe Pantoliano has appeared in every Bad Boys movie as Captain Conrad Howard, although when Bad Boys: Ride or Die was first announced, his inclusion was not so certain. This was because Captain Howard died in the third Bad Boys movie, which was a heartbreaking development for one of the most beloved characters in the entire franchise. However, the latest movie paid homage to Howard’s character and had a plot that revolved around clearing his name after he was wrongfully accused of having ties to drug cartels.

Despite his character’s death, Pantoliano appeared in Bad Boys: For Life through recorded footage that showed the character before his death. Pantoliano’s volatile performance as Captain Howard was a series highlight and helped give Bad Boys its unique identity. Pantoliano has had an acclaimed acting career that’s included roles in everything from The Sopranos to The Matrix; he also had early roles in M*A*S*H and movies like Risky Business, being a mainstay of Hollywood for the past 40 years.

2 Martin Lawrence

Martin Lawrence as Det. Lt. Marcus Burnett

Martin Lawrence taking cover as Marcus in Bad Boys Ride or Die

Of course, there would be no Bad Boys movies without the bad boys themselves, and that’s why the reappearance of Martin Lawrence as Marcus Burnett was always guaranteed in Bad Boys: Ride or Die. Lawrence has played Marcus in every installment, as his character expertly blended buddy cop heroism with some New Age sensibilities and a mindfulness-based outlook. As Mike Lowery’s long-term partner, there would be no Bad Boys without Lawrence, whose incredible comedic timing helped turn it into the massive franchise it became.

Lawrence was a major comedic force throughout the 1990s and 2000s, and outside of Bad Boys, he was best known for his lead role in Big Momma’s House. Interestingly, Lawrence was the bigger star when the first Bad Boys movie was released and gained top billing ahead of Will Smith. However, in the years since, Smith’s fame has eclipsed Lawrence as he became one of the most prominent movie stars of all time.

1 Will Smith

Will Smith as Det. Lt. Mike Lowrey

Will Smith as Mike Lowery in Bad Boys For Life

Will Smith has appeared in every Bad Boys movie as Mike Lowery, who, along with his partner Marcus Burnett, has consistently uncovered cases, taken down bad guys, and put their lives on the line for the greater good. Mike’s story has been a whirlwind of different relationships, a turbulent professional life, and even the discovery of a long-lost son he never knew existed. As a wealthy ladies’ man with an impeccable sense of style, Mike always came across as the more put-together of the two Bad Boys.

As one of the most notable actors on the planet, very few people don’t know already know about Smith. From his musical success as a rap artist, being a sitcom star on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and becoming a leading man in some of Hollywood’s biggest movies, Smith has truly done it all. Smith’s career has included over-the-top action films like Independence Day, major franchises such as Men in Black, and nuanced dramatic performances like his Oscar-winning role in King Richard, showcasing his versatility and talent.

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