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Ride Along 2 – Movie Review

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Ride Along 2 – Movie Review

Rating: C (Average)

Trailer/Thumbnail Courtesy Universal Pictures

The buddy cop movie has become such a well-worn subgenre and Ride Along 2 does absolutely nothing to break the mold. Director Tim Story tries to give it a certain amount of energy, as do the two stars leading the project. It’s the kind of distracting disposable entertainment that asks nothing of the audience and it’s okay if it doesn’t want to be something deeper and more meaningful. Ride Along 2 does its job adequately enough, but as a result it also becomes instantly forgettable. One can’t get too annoyed with this film because it’s not a complete waste of resources, but there’s nothing about it that rises above the competition. It merely exists.

Ride Along 2 is essentially the Kevin Hart Show. Hart is an okay comic presence, basically serving as a less annoying Chris Tucker. He’s a non-stop ball of energy and makes the most out of the lines handed to him. Some of the genuine laughs in the movie come courtesy of Hart, especially a particularly hilarious bit involving cell phone ring tones that pays off greatly. Ice Cube mainly has to react to him and act serious, but he’s more than commendable in the role. Less successful is Ken Jeong, whose shtick gets more and more tiring with each film. Somebody needs to take him aside and say the “Asian says hip phrases” routine got old the second he leaped out of the car in The Hangover.

Olivia Munn’s character only exists to be a sex symbol and forced love interest for Ice Cube, adding very little to the plot. When she walks out of a police vehicle showing her midriff and not wearing a proper officer uniform, it’s clear why this character is in the film. Benjamin Bratt is a dull villain with his evil plan not mattering whatsoever. This is a film that doesn’t need to have a needlessly complicated scheme for the antagonist and yet the script attempts to cobble one together. The pay-off is obvious a million miles away with the audience being fifteen steps ahead of the two leads.

Tim Story mostly excels in the action scenes. He’s able to give the car chases the required spark and it’s where the film is at its most entertaining. One sequence that takes on the style of Grand Theft Auto type video games is a particular stand-out. These scenes are also edited and shot in a way that allows the viewer to see every move made by the vehicles and their stunt drivers. The shoot-‘em-ups are more on the generic side and are not directed with the same flair as the car chase scenes. There’s also a sequence with the most fake looking computer animated alligator, which seems to exist because they had a bit more money in this sequel.

There is really not a lot to say about Ride Along 2. It’s a fairly forgettable affair with a couple of moments of amusement. It mainly exists, partly because the first one was successful and also to let Kevin Hart and Ice Cube play off each other some more. You can tell these two are certainly trying their best to punch up the script and make it better. The story matters not one bit here. It just wants to entertain the audience for about a hundred minutes and then send them on their merry way. It’s unmemorable fluff that will join the million other buddy cop movies in existence.

Stefan Ellison

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