Movie Review: ‘Ride Along 2’


Director: Tim Story

Cast: Kevin Hart, Ice Cube, Tika Sumpter, Benjamin Bratt, Olivia Munn, Ken Jeong

Plot: A criminal hacker overhears his employer order the murder the police commissioner as he believed the commissioner had stolen money from him. Two cops from Atlanta fly to Miami to follow up an unrelated lead, which brings to the hacker who actually stole the money and they set out to bring down the criminal.

Review: As you can tell from the plot description there is a needlessly complicated set up to what essentially boils down to getting the two leads down to Miami for the bulk of the story. They was much confusion to be had with this set up, as the film opens with the criminal overload perpetrating this crime. Throughout the rest of the movie the bad guy was shown to be a community leader, well respected by all and considered a good guy by all. Why the director (Story, who brought us the less shitty Fantastic Four movies) would reveal that he was the bad guy in the opening minutes is downright confounding. It eliminates any possibility of including it as a plot twist or a misdirect. The audience spends the entire films watching these cops try to uncover who the villain is whilst they are fully aware of that information. It’s not only pointless, but it’s stupid story telling.

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This opening scene also features Ken Jeong chatting up a cam girl on his computer and suddenly she steps off screen and returns in less than two seconds wearing a form fitting cartoon mouse costume and begins twerking. This is an indication of the humour we’re dealing with, but left me wondering how she managed to get into that outfit so damn quickly!

After the set-up we cut to Ice Cube and Tyrese Gibson staking out a criminal network. Apparently Gibson’s presence was meant to be a funny cameo, but for someone who didn’t see the first film and didn’t know the premise, it fell very flat. Then Kevin Hart, the star of this film, turns up and things go downhill fast. The purpose of this movie is to position the camera in a place where Kevin Hart can make stupid faces and talk in silly voices while Ice Cube stands to the side and scowls. Hart seems determined to fill the void left by Chris Tucker’s absence for some godforsaken reason.

Sadly for the film and those watching it, Hart is not funny. The source of much of the comedy is that Hart’s character likes things that women like. He has opinions on flowers, talks about his emotions and has an interest in fashion. He then babbles about these things in a high pitched voice while trying to make different shapes with his mouth.

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Hart is not supported by the film-making, which is amateur enough to include overblown montages of the same city with only one scene between them. The set-ups are ridiculously simple, the soundtrack is poorly chosen and the rhythm of the editing does nothing to help.

The absolute nadir of the film’s attempts at comedy is what I can only assume was meant to be an Apocalypse Now parody scene. It’s a single shot of Hart coming out of the water while ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ plays in the background. I assume it’s meant to be a reference to the classic psychological war film, but the framing and timing doesn’t match, making it hard to place the visual, and the soundtrack is taken from a different, more iconic scene from Apocalypse Now. This shitty attempt at aping a better film exists entirely in a void. There’s no set up and no punchline, and the parody has no twist added to it. It’s done so poorly it’s hard for a film geek like me to work it out, and the intended audience for this film is certainly unlikely to get it. Eek! The Cat did a better recreation of this scene back in the 90s, and that’s pretty embarrassing for this movie.

Eek the Cat

THEY got the framing right.

It’s hard to imagine anything from this movie being less than embarrassing. In a year when Ice Cube’s son has been receiving praise upon praise for the portrayal of his father during his break out music year’s, Ice Cube himself is starring in crap like this.

Rating: TWO out of TEN

 

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