MOVIE REVIEW: Ride Along 2

Director: Tim Story
Writers: Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi, Greg Coolidge
Stars: Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, Tika Sumpter

The follow-up movie to Ride Along seems to have forgotten the one simple rule of buddy cop comedies, they forgot to add the comedy. Kevin Hart and Ice Cube return as the Brothers in Law and law enforcement. Ice Cube still the hard-nosed cop with no time for the crazy antics of his Sisters fiance Kevin Hart. After a drugs bust goes awry Ice Cube is in the dog house with his Lieutenant and just out from the Academy Kevin has had a hand in this mess of an arrest. Ice Cube must travel to Miami to question a hacker to find the Mr. Big of the drugs case he’s working on, and reluctantly he takes Kevin’s character with him.

The first Ride Along movie, which I never reviewed, was a gentle delight. I’ll explain that by saying I thought it was going to be awful but it was mildly funny and a passable entertainment for the short running time that was involved. Having known Kevin Hart from stand up comedy I knew that I was going to get his usual high excitement level of performance, and was fine with that, but by the end of that film I was full to the brim with his one trick pony performance. Ice Cube is capable of much more than he shows in these films, the man can act, but cinema fans know that all actors must do these type of throwaway comedies in order to get noticed more, get paid, or show that they are capable of more. So I left the cinema, sated by hunger of seeing Kevin Hart in movies, and thought that was where it was going to be left. Then it made a fortune at the box offices around the globe. Now here we are.

There are no jokes in this film, even when they attempt to be funny the jokes don’t work. Ken Jeong, who normally cracks me up just by opening a door, couldn’t bring a smile to my face. His part as a computer hacker tried to use his talents but it’s just a version of his role in The Hangover without the funny. Starring as the bad guy here and there is never any doubt about who the bad guy is this time around, is Benjamin Bratt. There is little for Bratt to do here but pretend to look menacing. Why did they set this film in Miami? Well from the settings it feels as though they are trying to capture the magic that the Bad Boys films brought out from that beautiful city. The degradation of women through the film doesn’t stop at the party girls that seemed to be dragged straight out of the Michael Bay playbook, but super talented Olivia Munn, as the maybe love interest for Ice Cube, is also treated in the same awful way.

If we looked at this as just a buddy cop movie, like Lethal Weapon or Red Heat, it still wouldn’t stack up as both those films had large measures of comedy in them. The action here, and it’s why it was given one point, is well shot, but there is not enough for it to wipe away the fact that the jokes don’t work. There is also a very strange addition of clips of games, I know Hart’s character is a gamer, but it’s just a pandering moment that the Director probably thought would endear his film with gamers out there. These are just cliché moments that serve no purpose except that the film makers think, and going to put the emphasis on think, they are being modern and unique.

So in the end this is just a comedy without jokes, with action that had slight moments of entertainment, and will quickly become a figment of the imagination in the careers of everyone involved. I cannot, and it’s rare that I say this, recommend this film to anyone. If you liked the first one, and I did like it, this is the biggest let down for a sequel that I’ve seen in a long, long time. I hope that Hart and Mr. Cube are not meant to do a third one, if they are I’ll pass, I’m going to wash my mind out by watching Super Troopers and forget that this sequel ever happened. If you want to use your cinema cash on this then please feel free, but Uncle Gar has told you not to. Always listen to Uncle Gar.

1 out of 5

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