Movie Review: RIDE ALONG 2 (2016)

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ride_along_2RIDE ALONG 2 (USA 2015) ***
Directed by Tim Story

Starring: Ice Cube, Kevin Hart

Review by Gilbert Seah

More of the same are the four words that best describes RIDE ALONG 2. Same director and same two stars Ice Cube and Kevin Hart playing cops. If you disliked RIDE ALONG 1 or do not find Kevin Hart funny, then avoid this one.

Ice Cube has proven his comedy mettle by being most funny in the two JUMP STREET films. Together with comedian and standup comic Hart, they form quite the dynamic duo. Ice Cube plays detective James Payton who takes under his wing his future brother-in-law Ben Barber (Hart) who wants to become a detective. In the film, Ben and James venture to Miami to work on a case that involves a mysterious and dashing figure named Serge Pope (Benjamin Pratt). While there, they team up with Maya (Olivia Munn), a smart and beautiful detective. Ben looks forward to proving himself and hopes the case runs smoothly so that he can return to Atlanta in time for his wedding. Tika Sumpter plays the bride.
Ice Cube is the straight man and Hart the clown. The angle is that Ben needs to stay focused while James has to become less uptight and more human. James gripes while Hart clowns. And this occurs countless times throughout the movie – so be prepared!

But on the plus side, the duo is quite funny. The sequel has the addition of Ken Jeong who plays A.J., a computer hacker that Pope is after and the cops want information from. So, if one can ignore the simplistic plot, the film is actually quite fun like the RUSH HOUR, Jackie Chan Chris Tucker films. “Do you ever watch the shit that is coming out of your mouth,” says James to Ben in one of the film’s funnier moments, and a nice nod to the RUSH HOURS buddy cop action comedies.

Besides the comedy, the action sequences are aptly put together. So, an additional plus over the RUSH HOUR films is that RIDE ALONG 2 is quite exciting. The car chase is also funny with James signalling as he tries to escape from the bad guys. Why are you signalling?” asks James. “Habit” is the answer. Ice Cube who co-produced the film too, and a well known rapper ensures a solid rap soundtrack to the film, including a catchy song during the end credits called Sound of da Police.

The funny bits that work include subplots involving Ben constantly arguing with his wedding planner, Cori (Sherri Shepherd) who contradicts whatever Ben wants for his wedding and the impressively edited segment which blurs a car chase and a video game. The part of A.J. being a sex pervert while computer hacking, however, generates few laughs. The final bit involving Ben and the speedboat has too much effort for the laughs generated.

The film’s romantic interest is the one between Ben and his bride (Sumpter). He has to get back from Miami to Atlanta in time for the wedding.

RIDE ALONG 2 is posed to be number one at the box-office this weekend. Never mind the poor critical reviews on Rotten Tomatoes! The audience knows what it wants.

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