Movie Review: Ride Along (2014)

Published On January 25, 2014 » 1501 Views» By admin »

ride along 4 Worth the Watch

4 stars

Ride Along is topping the box office this week and there is a good reason why. There is just about no way to go wrong when you pair Kevin Hart with Ice Cube. Despite getting thoroughly panned by critics, Ride Along is still pulling in viewers at the theater.

Kevin Hart plays Ben, a security guard who is getting ready to get married to Angela (Tika Sumpter). Unfortunately, his impending marriage has a roadblock in the form of APD detective James (Ice Cube). In order to get James’ blessing to marry Angela, Ben must survive a 24 hour ride along. What follows are standard buddy cop shenanigans, where James proves to be a bit crazier than Ben thought, and Ben must survive not just run-ins with run of the mill thugs, but with the problems James causes himself.

Is it a new premise? No, of course not. Buddy cop, mismatched pairings have been around since the invention of the movie theater. What really makes the film come alive are the actors themselves.

Ice Cube’s straight-man tough cop is a great contrast to Kevin Hart’s eager, arrogant portrayal of a guy desperate to prove himself. A side plot about James going after an arms dealer gives the movie more purpose than just slapstick humor and makes it all come together. [more…]

ride along 1

Of course, the movie isn’t without its flaws. The script feels a bit slapped together and it seems like the writers depended too much on Ice Cube and Hart’s likeableness, as the dialog wasn’t as strong as other buddy cop movies like “48 Hours” or “Bad Boys”. Hart and Ice Cube deserved better than that.

Also, Tika Sumpter’s character seemed spawned from some high school sex romp movie. She’s is large chested and small brained. She really does nothing but run around in short shorts, flashing cleavage, seducing Ben and leaving all her major life decisions up to her slightly unbalanced big brother James. It almost seemed like the writers slapped her in as an afterthought, even though her role in the film was part of a major plot point.

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While there is some pretty obvious product placement (a Ram truck gets commandeered in the first few seconds of the movie, Hart goes off on a tangent listing of the benefits of owning a Dodge Charger RT, etc.) they did manage to place the products in a way that fit the movie.

While the dialog wasn’t the best, the plot flowed pretty well and the major conflict, the arms dealer, didn’t feel forced. There is never a boring moment and just about every call turned into Hart getting beaten on or teased. All the standard clichés are there. Scary bikers, bratty kids and giant angry men all get a chance to throw Hart around. The action is entertaining and hilariously slapstick at the same time.

Ride Along isn’t anything you haven’t seen before. It’s a formulaic buddy cop comedy with a predictable ending. However, thanks to strong leads and nonstop action, it is a very good effort for its genre and totally worth the watch.

Watch the trailer below.  If you have seen the movie leave a review!

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