Ride Along 2 Review
The Ride Along team return for another non-buddy cop comedy with too much Hart and not enough heart
Ride Along’s stars, director and two of the writers return for this cop comedy sequel, and to no one’s surprise it’s more of the same.2014’s Ride Along was a relative success, earning more than $150 million worldwide which basically meant a whole slew of numbered sequels could be expected. And so here we are, with Ride Along 2 picking up more or less exactly where the first movie left off. That means there’s more of the Kevin Hart silliness, the profanity, the slapstick humour and the wafer-thin plotting.This time around, Hart’s Ben Barber has graduated from annoying police wannabe to annoying police officer, and accompanies future brother-in-law Detective James Payton (Ice Cube) to Miami on a case. Payton hopes Barber will be idiotic enough to get himself kicked off the force and out of his relationship (with Payton’s sister), and to be fair everyone here gives idiocy a go.
The case in Miami soon leads to charismatic crime lord Antonio Pope (Benjamin Bratt) and Payton and Barber enlist the help of local cop Maya (Olivia Munn in varying states of undress) and hacker AJ (Ken Jeong) to bring Pope down. What the movie lacks in plot it tries to make up for in (for desperate want of a better word) banter, and Hart and Cube have carried their bickering and pestering relationship over from the first instalment. In fact, a lot has been carried over – this feels a lot like the first film but with even less (if you can believe it) ingenuity or charm.
It’s 100 minutes of obvious jokes, profanity and physical slapstick comedy involving props like cars, guns and alligators. Fans of the first film will surely enjoy this second go around, primarily because not much has changed. In a funny way, Ride Along’s success may have actually hindered its sequel – this film doesn’t really have any originality, any heart or anything new to offer. It just about scrapes by on the established on-screen chemistry between the two leads, but there’s nothing in the way of narrative nor dialogue to really elevate this above anything but a shoddy sequel.
It’s full of obvious jokes, profanity and physical slapstick comedy; so fans of the first film will surely enjoy it because nothing's changed!
Kevin Hart fans – rejoice; there’s a whole lot of your man in this film. But the thing about Hart’s high-pitched mile-a-minute comedy is that a little goes a long, long (long) way. Given that pretty much all the first movie did was follow every energetic Hart line of dialogue with a scowl or a frown or a grimace from Cube, you might have been forgiven for thinking that the sequel would expand on this relationship a little. But it doesn’t. Even the addition of Jeong – on paper another loud, brash comedian in the Hart mould – doesn’t add much.
It’s difficult to look at Ride Along 2 and see anything other than an attempt to cash in on the success of the first film – indeed not much effort seems to have been put in to generating a new storyline, or coming up with any original ideas. Ride Along wasn’t exactly a masterpiece, but compared to this it doesn’t look half bad.
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