Monday, January 25, 2016

[Review] Ride Along 2

Ride Along was no masterpiece, but if you were willing to submit yourself to another middling buddy cop comedy, the film was toward the top of the usual January dump. And by that I mean--it was at least better than the Josh Gad vehicle The Wedding Ringer.

Ride Along 2 opens with an Iggy Azalea song, which is never a good sign, especially for a sequel that we never needed (or wanted). Ice Cube and Kevin Hart return here as the contrasting cop duo. These two are still good screen presences, but the story stinks. A criminal syndicate including a boss played by Benjamin Bratt and a hacker played by Ken Jeong (who seems to have transported from the trunk in The Hangover to this movie) is scheming in Miami. What they're trying to accomplish is never quite clear, but they're about as stock-villainy as it gets. Cube and Hart (I'm just going to call them that, because no one actually remembers their characters' names here) travel to Miami to investigate, in what ends up being one of the most cartoony live-action plots you'll ever see.

Most of the funny bits fall flat, whole scenes without an ounce of decent material pass by, stunts that aren't even at so-bad-it's-good level ensue, and it's all just a lazy rehash. The film is new, yet it somehow feels more dated than the first one. The best moment comes when Cube and Hart first see the profile picture of Ken Jeong, and Cube says "He look like a low-budget ass Jackie Chan." Then Kevin Hart innocently chuckles "That was a good one," and Ice Cube gives him a stone cold stare and says "I know." And that happens within the first 15 minutes, so the film peaks really early.

Ride Along 2 is the type of movie where you could fast forward through any given portion and you wouldn't really miss anything of value. You could also skip the entire movie and you wouldn't really miss anything of value.


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