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Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Ride Along

Genre: Action/Comedy
Directed: Tim Story
Starring: Ice Cube & Kevin Hart
Running: 100 minutes 

The buddy cop genre has had some ups and downs in its time. The origins are however, worth remembering such as 48hrs, Lethal Weapon and Beverly Hills cop still holding up. Unfortunately the existence of such classics are often used to help revive such a genre resulting in many copycats; the dire and ultimately forgettable Cop Out (2010), the divided opinion of The other Guys (2010) and R.I.P.D of late (to name a few) have all proved unoriginal and most importantly, not funny. Ride Along falls into the same poison chalice.

Stuck with the same facial expression since Boys in the Hood, Ice Cube finds himself in position similar to Friday; shunned by Chris Tucker's comedic dose, Ice Cube's lack of personality gives way to Tucker's replacement, Kevin Hart.

Ben (Hart) is a part time boyfriend and full time video gamer. Destined to become a police officer, his national security job is a stepping stone to become the bad ass his brother in law defies him to become. Desperate to impress his mundane companion Angela (Tika Sumpter), Ben passes his exams. Behind Ben's obviously obnoxious personality is hard as rock, straight-outta Compton rouge officer James (Ice Cube) who showcases is gun skills upon the movies introduction. Like all buddy cop movies a hatred must exist and indeed one does. Ben plans to wed James's sister Angela, much to the disgust of James whose long term memory of a barbecue incident is the route to Ride-along’s typical chemistry of modern buddy cop humour. Hell bent on proving his courageousness, Ben is taken on a "ride-along" by James, resulting in a part-time comedy (thanks to Hart) but monotonous which is also thanks to Hart.

I would be lying if I told you that Ride-along offers nothing in its comedy, it does. Kevin Hart's miniature presence is somewhat memorable and really tries to give this nonsensical blockbuster a heartbeat (excuse the pun); re-enacting Denzel Washington's Oscar winning disintegration scene from Training Day in front of a biker gang, to the testing of various guns in a police gun range. However the drawn out perspective of Kevin Hart's height is used to the extreme, resulting in a comedy that takes a new direction in depending on "slapstick" over the witty dialog that maybe could have been used in replacement. Kevin Hart's attempt to become the next Eddie Murphy gets the best of him with his in your face dialog proving tiresome the longer the movie survives.

Other cast members include cop companion Santiago played by John Leguizamo who thanks to his Luigi portrayal in that god awful super Mario movie still gives me nightmares, am I the only one? Laurence Fishburne also makes a predicted appearance looking shocked as to how the hell he ended up in this stage of his career.

Ride-along is weak in its plot, so much so that you forget there is one. James's so-called determination to bring in the concealed identity of a "word of mouth" killer is quickly forgotten as his obsessive hatred for Hart's character is just preposterous; so much so that an investigation turns into a 24 patrol premise revealing segments of spiritless comedy, resulting in a tedious film. The final 10 minutes reminds us of a plot we have already ignored and depending on your humour, the three funny scenes involved in a 100 minute cash grab may prove hilarious or just inattentive.


  1. Good review man but this was always gonna be one to burren! Get yourself to Lego Movie soon, wonderful stuff!

  2. It’s not great, it could have been better – but it’s exactly what you thought it would be, and delivers what it promised.