Blu-ray Review “Ride Along”

ride-alongStarring: Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, John Leguizamo, Bruce McGill, Laurence Fishburne, Jay Pharoah
Director: Tim Story
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Universal Studios
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Run Time: 99 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

Kevin Hart is no question of the biggest up and coming actors in the business right now. He started off with his stand up work but has really broken out in films in the last year. Partner him up with veteran Ice Cube and you have a no brainer buddy cop action comedy. This film is very funny and brings out the best in both of the two stars. I only wish it wasn’t PG-13 because I could see this being much more fun with a little less restriction. I am sure we never saw this coming but this film is being turned into a franchise with “Ride Along 2” set for release in January 2016 already! Can’t wait!

Official Premise: For the past two years, high school security guard Ben (Kevin Hart) has been trying to show decorated detective James (Ice Cube) that he’s more than just a video game junkie who’s unworthy of James’ sister. When Ben finally gets accepted into the police academy, James invites him on a ride-along designed to scare the hell out of him and ultimately demonstrate if Ben has what it takes to take care of his sister. But when the wild night leads them to the most notorious criminal in the city, James will find that his new partner’s rapid-fire mouth is just as dangerous as the bullets speeding at it.

Universal Studios, personally, always delivers some of the best Blu-ray releases. “Ride Along” comes as a Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy combo pack. The 1080p transfer is solid and works well with the film’s buddy cop setting. Same goes to the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track, which lines up well with the film’s action and Hart’s fast talking. Universal also delivered some decent extras including a great solo commentary track from directory Tim Story, who is quite passionate and enjoyed this film and everyone who worked on it.  There are six deleted scenes along with an alternate take for the film’s PG-13 rating and a slightly different alternate ending. There is a decent gag reel included also.

There are six short featurettes included giving a brief behind-the-scenes moments. “It Was a Good Day: On the Set of Ride Along” is the longest just over 10 minutes and features interviews with cast and crew. “Kev & Cube’s Wild Ride” features the duo talking about their work together. “You Gonna Learn Today” is a lesson in improv from Hart. “Atlanta: The Character” briefly shows the about the city in which the film was shot. “Anatomy of the Big Blast” dissects the film’s key scene. Lastly “An Explosive Ride” looks into the stunts, gunfights and action choreography.


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