Director: Tim Story
Cast: Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, Olivia Munn, Ken Jeong and Benjamin Bratt
Running Time: 102 minutes
Release Date: January 22nd
I believe it was Morrissey who once sang: “Stop me, oh-oh-oh, stop me. Stop me if you think that you’ve heard this one before.” Ride Along 2 is so generic that it doesn’t just resemble every buddy cop movie ever, but it also shamelessly copies and pastes entire subplots from other films.
A sequel to the sleeper hit (that’s a film nobody sane expected to be a hit); Ride Along 2 again features Kevin Hart as Ben, a very loud little man with law enforcement aspirations. When we meet Ben this time around, he’s a rookie cop with big ambitions. Ride Along 2 follows Ben and his grouchy future brother-in-law James (Ice Cube) as they’re working their first major case as colleagues.
I wouldn’t mind a film being essentially a remake of The Hard Way, with a dash of Lethal Weapon 2 if it were funny. (Ken Jeong is a rehash of the Joe Pesci character from the latter.) But the film’s jokes mostly consist of Hart running his mouth while Cube winces and growls. Hart might be small, but his comedy is big, shrill even. If you never noticed his stature, don’t worry – the script will frequently remind you with a long succession of short-man jokes.
Ride Along 2 is every buddy cop movie you’ve seen, minus the good bits. It’s Rush Hour without martial arts; it’s Beverly Hills Cop without Eddie Murphy; it’s Hot Fuzz without irony; it’s Bad Boys II without the big set pieces; and it’s 48 Hours…without Eddie Murphy.
Cube is playing essentially the same role as he did in 21/22 Jump Street. This makes Ride Along 2 even more redundant: Not a wet week after the cop movie was successfully deconstructed (twice!) with the same actor, we’re asked to watch Cube sleepwalk through a generic example of the genre. He even wears shades in almost every scene, perhaps to hide the fact that he’s napping.
As well as the bickering partners who will eventually learn to work effectively together, Ride Along 2 has more cop clichés than a Naked Gun film. These clichés include (but are not limited to); an angry chief who wants results; cops working the case while on suspension; a female cop who’s mean to the male cop (even though the audience knows she will eventually fancy him); a nightclub filled with attractive young women that becomes the location for a shootout and chase; a chase that’s preceded by the words “we got company”; and finally, a Latino drug smuggler who’s a respected pillar of the community. Come on, guys; that last one was a cliché in The Simpsons’ McBain skits two decades ago!
Good rap soundtrack though.