Ride Along

Ride Along

Director: Tim Story

Writers: Jason Mantzoukas, Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi, Greg Coolidge

Cast: Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, John Leguizamo, Bruce McGill, Tika Sumpter, Bryan Callen, Laurence Fishburne, Dragos Bucur, Gary Owen, Jacob Latimore, Jay Pharoah, Benjamin Flores Jr., Eric Benson, Anna House, Greg Rementer

Synopsis: Fast-talking security guard Ben joins his cop brother-in-law James on a 24-hour patrol of Atlanta in order to prove himself worthy of marrying Angela, James' sister.

MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence, sexual content and brief strong language

Warning: Contains Adult Language. Parental discretion is advised

Stevennix2001's Rating:

7/ 10

Pros:


- Acting was good

- Chemistry between Ice Cube and Kevin Hart was great

- Improvisational humor of Kevin Hart was funny

- Ice Cube was pretty bad a***

- Movie was pretty funny

- Well choreographed fight scenes and shootouts

Cons:


- Another buddy cop movie that offers little to no originality

- Predictable story arc

- Stereotypical characters, and weak villains


The Buddy Cop formula is at it again!

Oh dear lord. Another buddy cop movie that follows the formula almost to a freaking "T" again? Seriously? Oh well. At least, we have improvisational stand up from Kevin Hart to make it interesting. And, his over the top loud mouth comedy style seems to act as a good counter balance to Ice Cube's no nonsense tough guy attitude. But other than that, I wouldn't count on this one being anything other than an above average film at best.

Sure, like most audiences, I too found "Ride Along" funny to watch; mainly due to the chemistry that resonated off Kevin Hart interacting with Ice Cube. But if you took away the improvisational stand up act of Kevin Hart interacting with a tough guy like Ice Cube, then you'd be stuck with just another run of the mill buddy cop film; which is essentially all "Ride Along" happens to be.

Is it entertaining? Sure, if all you're looking for is a decent action comedy that'll get you through the night, but that's basically all that this film is good for. The story follows a security guard, Ben (Kevin Hart), who falls in love with a girl named Angela (Tika Sumpter). And from the looks of things, they seem like a perfect couple, as Ben even plans to propose to her. However, there's only one problem...he has to get her brother's blessing first; which is easier said than done.

Angela's brother is a no nonsense stick in the mud cop named James (Ice Cube), who isn't exactly Ben's biggest fan. However, in an effort to prove himself to James of being worthy of Angela's love, Ben agrees to go on a 24 hour patrol ride around Atlanta. Gee, I wonder how this'll turn out...

Of course, James is also working on a case while trying to scare Ben straight, in hopes he'll give up trying to win his blessing. Apparently, James has been working on a case to catch some mysterious mobster named Omar, whom nobody has ever seen before. And, that's pretty much the basic set up for the story without giving away too much.

Like all buddy cop films, you know that they're going to learn crap about each other, and they're going to bond. You know at some point Ben is going to win James' respect, and his blessing to be with this sister. You know that at some point, the protagonists will get taken off the Omar case, due to some bulls*** reason, but they'll still continue to work on said case anyway.

However, things will work out in the end, and all that other typical Hollywood jazz. Like "The Heat", this one is nothing if not insanely predictable. If anything, you can tell exactly when each plot point is going to happen from a mile away. Hell, one could even argue that even the subtle plot twists they introduce in this film are fairly predictable.

But then again, we have to remember that a great story isn't exactly the reason why people watch a buddy cop movie like "Ride Along." No, they watch it purely for escapism purposes, while getting a few cheap laughs here and there. And on that note, "Ride Along" definitely punches that ticket quite well.

Although I doubt we'll be talking about this film again when the Oscars roll around next year, but it's fairly entertaining for what it tries to be. The actors are fairly decent in it, and the comedy isn't half bad either. Sure, it would've been nice to see some originality come out of this movie, but for what it is, it's not that bad. In fact, I'd dare even say it's probably one of the funniest movies that I've seen all year.

Overall, I wouldn't go into "Ride Along" expecting it to be any kind of a great movie, nor would I advise anyone seeing this in theaters, as it's not worth the admission price. However, if you get a chance to rent it on DVD/Blue Ray someday, then I'd definitely recommend checking it out; especially if you're a huge Kevin Hart fan, or just a person that's looking for a halfway decent comedy to get a few cheap laughs.

© 2014 Steven Escareno

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