April 20, 2016

Blu-Ray Review: RIDE ALONG 2

Starring Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, Ken Jeong, Benjamin Bratt, Olivia Munn, Tika Sumpter. Directed by Tim Story. (2016, 102 min).

If you're reading this review, you likely skipped the film in theaters (a wise choice) and are pondering whether or not it's worth checking out at home. So you can take the following statement as either good news or bad: Ride Along 2 is more of the same. More Cube & Kevin (with a huge emphasis on the latter), more lowbrow comedy, more decent-but-unremarkable action, more familiar actors in thankless supporting roles. Tim Story, who actually made a good movie once (Barbershop), is back for a second round in the director's chair.

This time around, Atlanta Detective James Payton (Ice Cube) discovers a local drug dealer has ties to a mysterious Miami crimelord (Benjamin Bratt). Ben Barber (Kevin Hart), Payton's soon-to-be brother-in-law, is now a probationary rookie cop, but itching to make detective. He's still a bumbling idiot, but coerces Payton into bringing him along to Miami to help with the case.

The plot is perfunctory, of course, a generic clothesline on which to hang a plethora of sight gags and ‘funny’ one-liners, mostly courtesy of Hart. Here inlays the problem (or virtue, if you’re so inclined): Kevin Hart’s manic persona dominates every scene he's in, which is a shame because Ice Cube has proven to be quite funny when given the chance. Here, he’s simply a straight man to Hart’s scenery-chewing, pratfalls and over-the-top delivery of nearly every line of dialogue. He’s not-so-much acting as constantly reminding us he’s Kevin Hart. Barber is essentially the same character Hart’s played in every movie he’s ever appeared in. If his brand of over-exaggerated humor strikes your fancy, you’ll be in hog heaven. Personally, I find him insufferable in doses this large.

Kevin Hart's voice proves to be more lethal than bullets.

Storywise, it’s one cop movie cliche after another...shoot-outs, angry police chiefs (two this time), disgraced heroes redeeming themselves, gratiutous sexual titilation, an overly cocky villain. Added into the mix is a pointless and stupid subplot of Barber’s ongoing verbal battle with his wedding planner. Alas, lost in the shuffle is Ice Cube. Aside from a few funny one-liners, he’s wasted in this role (even though it’s obviously paying the bills).

Still, if you loved the first film, I can’t think of a single reason why you wouldn’t enjoy this one. It’s simply more of the same. If that’s the case, since Ride Along 2 raked in a slew of quick cash, Ride Along 3 is likely on the horizon. Hooray for you. If that’s not the case...why are you still reading this?


  • NUMEROUS FEATURETTES: "Kevin and Cube: Brothers-in-Law"; "Inside Black Hammer Vision" (covering one of the few amusing moments in the film); "Ride Along Roundtable"; "The New Recruits"; "The Ride Diaries"; "Ride Along with Kevin Hart"
  • "Ride Along with Us" (a 'recruitment' video)
  • "Cori's Wedding Commercial"
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Gag Reel
  • Digital Copy

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