(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)
Ride Along was a cliched, sort of a Buddy Cop film that was disappointingly not funny. Kevin Hart was his usual self with a few witty one-liners, and his childish chemistry with Ice Cube. Action was semi-good, but overall it seemed everything was forced in this movie to try to make it good, but it was doomed from the beginning. Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
I knew before watching this movie that the writing will be cliched, and my hope for this movie was that it was funny enough to make this ok at the least. I knew Ice Cube with some good directing can play a role well, even though he is always typecast as a mean person, and Kevin Hart will be Kevin Hart. The only question you can ask is whether you get the annoying Kevin Hart, or the funny Kevin Hart. Unfortunately, neither good thing came out. I will start with what’s so-so in the movie, and what I really didn’t like.
What was so-so in the movie was the action. That was the only thing that exceeded my expectations a little bit. Yes at times it seems a little over the top, but for some movies before it works, and in this case, it was good enough. I looked up the director, Tim Story’s, past films and realized he was the guy that directed the Fantastic Four movies. So it all makes sense on why he wanted to give a little pizzazz in the movie. I thought the supporting cast did their best with the direction it received, like Tika Sumpter playing Kevin Hart’s character’s girlfriend (even though the height difference was hilarious), and John Leguizamo, Bryan Callen, and Bruce McGill playing other police officers. I also enjoyed the cinematography of showing the city of Atlanta. Many movies have done it before, but in this case I saw more of the beauty of the city. I guess Tyler Perry’s movie shows the slums of the city of Atlanta.
Now for what I didn’t like in the movie. First off Ice Cube just played his typical role as a tough guy, and in this case he was a cop that likes to work alone for the most part, and being overprotective of his sister. Hmm, where did I see that before, 21 Jump Street and all his other movies. I guess he is satisfied with that. As for Kevin Hart, you have very few funny lines from him, but for the most part he was annoying. The part where he pretended to be the villain Omar was funny to say the least. As for the chemistry between Kevin Hart and Ice Cube was like a childish big brother, little brother relationship. Ice Cube was the big mean brother that bullies his little brother, while Kevin Hart is the annoying and whiny brother who tries to overcome his older brother beatings. Not good for a PG-13 film. The most hilarious parts of the movie were already shown in the trailers (something that movies have done a lot, and needs to stop). One cameo in the movies that were not funny, let alone good, was SNL own Jay Pharoah playing a street snitch. I’m disappointed in Jay Pharoah, he makes a good impression as President Obama in SNL, but couldn’t play a low life snitch. David Banner’s cameo as a street crook was acted a lot better, and that is saying something. Lastly, Laurence Fishburne playing the villain Omar was very sub par for Fishburne’s standard. The movie tried to play his role as a very mysterious villain that know one knows how he looks like, but I knew Fishburne was coming cuz at the beginning of the movie they mentioned his name as an actor. His cameo would’ve been more surprising if they didn’t do that, now it was just predictable. As for his character, he didn’t do it for me as a villain. I know Fishburne can act, but to me his role as a gangster named Omar was too sub par which is very disappointing. When Kevin Hart pretended to be Omar, he was more convincing (which is very weird for me to say). His character was doomed to begin with. The last thing i didn’t like in the movie was the cliched story line. We seen these Buddy Cop type of movies before, two cops trying to catch a big time criminal, one is a serious cop while the other is either goofy or crazy, they go searching for clues and get lucky with leads, their chief doesn’t believe them, they go looking anyways, get in trouble with crooked cops who were their friends, find their way out, big shoot out scene, they arrest the crook, and they are heroes. I just described 80% of the buddy cop movies for better or worse. Just by watching the trailer I knew it was going to be cliched even though they try to spice it up with Kevin Hart’s character trying to prove he is a good man to Ice Cube’s character sister (Yawn).
Overall, even with a cliched writing, I was hoping it was funny. Unfortunately it wasn’t. Tim Story tried to do the best with what he got with the cliched script, but all came out was a ho-hum movie. It wasn’t the worst movie I have seen, but it definitely wasn’t good either. Maybe good for some folks that are looking to kill time and it’s on HBO, or for potheads who will probably find Kevin Hart real hilarious in this role, and that’s about all who I can recommend to!!! Rating: 2.5 out of 5