Film Review “Ride Along 2”

ridealong2Starring: Kevin Hart, Ice Cube, and Olivia Munn
Directed By: Tim Story
Rated: PG-13
Running Time: 101 minutes
Universal Pictures

Our Score: 1 out of 5 stars

It was destined to happen. The first “Ride Along” made over $150 million on a meager 25 million dollar budget. So “Ride Along 2” seemed like a financial inevitability, especially with the recent star power behind Ice Cube’s name and the popularity of Kevin Hart at the box office. 2015 was the year of Hart and Cube helped put together the Oscar-nominated “Straight Outta Compton”. That’s enough praise, because now I’m going to talk about “Ride Along 2”, the laziest follow-up the duo could have done.

Ice Cube and Kevin Hart just can’t work well for a second straight time. Maybe they can’t find the right balance of chemistry or maybe everyone else involved was too busy seeing dollar signs. If you’re going to see “Ride Along 2”, you know the shtick and the comic routine, and by now it’s getting old. Hart plays Ben, a goofy, loveable guy that squeals a lot, is the butt of short jokes, and is about as useful as a Keystone cop. Then there’s Cube, who plays James, a rough edged, no games cop that merely reacts to Ben’s ineffectiveness. We’ve seen this before. It only gets worse.

Ben is no longer trying to be a cop, he is a cop; kind of. He’s in training, but still manages to bungle a sting operation and still applies random useless video game knowledge to real life scenarios. James still gets frustrated and still doesn’t believe Ben is a real cop. James hopes to bring down a drug Lord that’s supplying dealers in Atlanta with supplies; while once again, Ben hopes to tag along. James gets the idea of scaring Ben straight, or at the very least getting him to give up on his dream, by bringing him along to Miami to chase down a mysterious kingpin. I contemplated copying and pasting my review from two years ago since this is the regurgitated plotline of the first.

Overall, “Ride Along 2” isn’t insultingly bad, but it’s biggest problem is that it’s indolent. It never fixes the problems that were seen in the previous installment, nor does it try to do anything new. Not even the smallest of endeavors is seen in the 101 minute runtime. The appearance of Olivia Munn and Ken Jeong are much appreciated, especially Jeong who appears to be the only one who’s willing to have a fun with his bits. Munn simply appears as eye candy, another person who can physically hurt Ben and a love interest for James.

I hate to say it, but I now reflect back on the first movie in a more gentle tone. If you haven’t seen the original, just ignore everything I just said and go about your merry life, not knowing about the trivial attempt at a sequel this movie was. But if you did see the original two years ago and enjoyed it to some extent, steer clear if this cash grab. Nearly everything in this movie is a rehash, except the salary for our leading stars.

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