Strathclyde Telegraph

Film Review: Ride Along 2

Director: Tim Story

Starring: Ice Cube; Kevin Hart; Olivia Munn

★★

 

By Niall Love

So I went to see Ride Along 2, having not previously seen Ride Along 1, although this is not the first time I have seen a sequel without seeing the originals (Hotel Transylvania 2 and Taken 3…ugghhh). I went along only seeing the trailer and knowing Kevin Hart is in it. In our tale Kevin is a trainee detective that has stolen the “Hart” of his cop partner/mentor’s sister (the cop partner is played by Ice Cube) and they are going to get married and become “the brothers in law” only after they take down the evil Hispanic accented crooked politician/mob Don.

The humour in our buddy black cop comedy dynamic duo mostly comes in two forms, one from Ice Cube and the other Kevin. Hart’s is mostly being uncool and slapstick. And by being uncool I mean acting like your dad trying to embarrass your mum in public with stupid outfits, a shouting match over who is the bigger Star Wars geek with a computer nerd, dancing on top of a table, a shouting match with his wedding planner, and another shouting match down the phone to the wedding planner. Now the slapstick ranges from generic and clichéd slapstick; a foot chase where he pratfalls about five times bumping into things, getting beat up by a 7 year old boy in a judo suit and smashing through a fence. To snooping around the baddie mansion where he falls off a windowsill and nearly gets eaten by a crocodile, which would be creative if Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 had not done the exact same thing with an emu. Another scene where he stands on a table whilst having a shouting match with (you guessed it!) the wedding planner and learns a new meaning to the phrase being fanned.

Now Ice Cube’s jokes are mostly him with an ultra-serious, no nonsense persona. Looking and acting real tough unlike his short gangly, rather camp partner. He mostly goes around telling him to “Shut the Hell up!” or “You don’t know what you’re doing” or “do you ever stop talking?” All of which is strangely meta, like they know Kevin is real annoying and thus makes the part where he slaps him in the face so very cathartic.

Performance wise everyone dose an adequate job with the material and everyone is for the most part generic and not very memorable. Not their fault, as I don’t think even George Clooney could make anything of this schlock. The exception must go to Kevin Hart who’s performance is camper than a row of tents, even throwing a hissy fit at the sight of hydrangeas which are his least favourite flower. I agree I’m more of a tulips man myself.

The action in the film is quite good with lots of car crashes and explosions and cars and trucks and forklift trucks crashing and smashing. Even if it is a bit generic and at one point the car chase turns into a literal video game and by that I mean it actually switches from real people and cars to CGI ones with visible health bars and speed meters on the edge of the screen. It’s almost like they made some bizarre meta joke about how the action in movies looks more like a video game, so they turned it into an actual video game. That would be great joke if the producers hadn’t forgotten video games are fun to play, but not so fun to watch someone else play. Oh and in case you were wondering we don’t have yet another shouting match with the wedding planner as the final boss, I guess that’s on the DLC.

The film is full of cop clichés like the angry shouting commissioner (still no match for the wedding planner), a pretty but tough lady cop who “so totally doesn’t need a man” in her life, a bit where they screw up and sulk in a bar after one of them gets sacked, a bit where they sneak into the baddies’ evil lair in disguise. Not to mention the jokes like finding an ethnically Chinese suspect and making a joke about how he looks like Jackie Chan. Though the Chinese man later admits the reason he ran from them was only because they were both black (or “Blentalmen” as the film calls them).

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