Ice Cube and Kevin Hart reunite for another ride in the sequel to the hit comedy Ride Along, in the cleverly titled Ride Along 2.
Full disclosure: I have never seen Ride Along, so if this movie was to rely on my fond memories of it’s predecessor, they were going to miss the boat entirely with me. Secondly, while I’m an Ice Cube fan (the dude can be damn funny and I enjoyed him in 21 Jump Street and the Friday films), I just find Kevin Hart annoying and wasn’t expecting this movie to change that notion any.
Bad Ice Cube, bad! If this unfunny hodge-podge of cop cliches is what constitutes comedy nowadays, it’s all over people, we’re done. After striking it rich to the tune of $154 million in 2014 (although less than $3 million came from Australia), Ice Cube and Kevin Hart are back as grumpy detective James Payton and his wannabe brother-in-law Ben Barber. Without the benefit of seeing it, it’s hard to tell if the duo struck gold the first time, but their mine is definitely all tapped out this go round.Ride Along 2 finds James and Ben travelling from Atlanta to Miami, and Ben is desperate to prove himself as a rookie detective to both his bride-to-be (Tika Sumpter) and James, who is determined to put the inept Ben’s dreams of being a detective down once and for all. Eventually, Ben displays his idiot savant worth, and together they try to take down a very connected crime boss, played with scenery chewing panache by an moustache twirling Benjamin Bratt. Also along for the ride are Ken Jeong (The Hangover movies) doing a slightly less annoying version of his regular schtick as a hacker witness Ben and James hunt down, and Olivia Munn (The Newsroom, X-Men: Apocalypse), criminally wasted here as a humourless eye candy homicide detective. Everything here seems like it’s been cribbed from other, better buddy cop comedies, and the story hits every single beat you expect it to, except for the laughs. It’s pretty much a comedy graveyard, and I’m pretty free and easy with a chuckle. The one interesting scene turns a pretty standard car chase into the video game fever dream for out-of-his-depth gamer Ben, complete with game display and score counter.
I think that your enjoyment of this movie will come down to your thoughts on Kevin Hart. The pint-sized comic dominates every frame of the movie and pitches his performance 1000 decibels above everyone else. The dude has never met a pratfall that he didn’t like, and plays it to the hilt. It’s just something about the screechy nature of his “comedy” that doesn’t appeal to me, and so everything fell flat. The man can rock a colourful outfit though, I’ll give him that.Mostly I just sat there feeling bad for everyone involved that they were roped into appearing in this turkey, especially Ice Cube, who knows first hand how well a buddy cop comedy can play. Unfortunately for him and for us, this is no 21 Jump Street. I just hope to god there’s no Ride Along 3.
RIDE ALONG 2 is in theatres tomorrow.