FILM REVIEW: RIDE ALONG 2

Ride Along 2, starring Ice Cube and Kevin Hart, is the sequel to the blockbuster action-comedy that gave us the year’s most popular comedy duo.  Joining Hart and Cube for the next chapter of the series are director Tim Story, as well as Cube’s fellow producers, Will Packer, Matt Alvarez and Larry Brezner.

The story is a fairly well worn Hollywood tale – two cops, one super serious (Ice Cube), one almost completely inept and the comic relief (Hart), chasing down the bad guys together. Hilarity ensues amid action sequences. This time, the location has moved from Atlanta (where the original was set) to Miami, upping the ante on the location “wow” factor. All the cliches are there: experienced cop having no respect for his inept partner; rookie cop making all the mistakes; grumpy lieutenants and captains; hot female detective that they partner up with while in Miami; local big businessman seemingly legitimate and pillar of society while he’s actually the main bad guy; big car chase; foot chase through backyards and houses; a point 3/4 the way through the film where our two heroes and heroine blow their sting operation and the bad guy seemingly is completely innocent, before they break the rules and take him down at the end, resulting in explosions and a gun battle. I swear I saw this story 25 years ago in Lethal Weapon 2!

What completely saves this film is that there are some genuinely funny moments – there’s a car chase scene about halfway through the film that is quite funny! And there’s no denying the on-screen chemistry between Ice Cube and Kevin Hart as The Brothers-In-Law. They obviously enjoy working together and have their roles down pat. Many of the other supporting actors were quite two-dimensional in their performances (Benjamin Bratt in particular, as the Businessman Bad Guy, pretty much phoned in his role). The scenery, though – in terms of location, vehicles and beautiful people – is most appealing. Certainly not an original plot, but cleanly executed by director Tim Story. But the subplot of Kevin Hart’s character dating/getting married to Ice Cube’s sister (which I believe formed a main part of the first film as well) was poorly done, although it was obviously there to facilitate a number of the gags between Ice Cube and Hart.

Entertaining enough, and quite a few laughs. A nice night out, and if you saw the original and liked it, this is more of the same.

3 stars

***

David Emms is an electronic engineer, a father, and an avid movie goer.
He lives in Adelaide