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Ride Along
1 year ago By: Chris Bumbray
Ride Along order download
Director:
Tim Story

Actors:
Kevin Hart
Ice Cube

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Ben (Kevin Hart), a clumsy high-school security guard, has just been accepted into the Atlanta Police Academy, a move he hopes will get his girlfriend’s cop brother James (Ice Cube) to finally give his blessing to their relationship so they can get married. Annoyed at the prospect of the goofy, cowardly Ben becoming a fellow cop and marrying his sister, he takes him on a ride-along, which he hopes will be enough to scare Ben away both from the academy and his sister.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
RIDE ALONG grossed an impressive $130 million at the box office this winter (much more than wannabe tentpoles like the ROBOCOP reboot) finally giving comedian Kevin Hart the box-office star status he’s been on the cusp of for years. Having been away at Sundance when RIDE ALONG was screening for the press, I missed out on seeing it theatrically, but when the Blu-ray showed up at my doorstep I figured it would be a fun action-comedy and good for a few laughs.

Instead, I found RIDE ALONG to be a pretty miserable experience. While I’ve never cared for Ice Cube as a leading man, I kinda like Kevin Hart. I caught the first season of THE REAL HUSBANDS OF HOLLYWOOD on Netflix, and it’s pretty hilarious. Hart can be a really funny guy, “can” being the keyword. He’s also a pretty ‘R-rated” guy, and the makers of RIDE ALONG haven’t done him any favors by shoehorning him into a family-friendly PG-13 movie.

As such, the explosive Hart we know from his standup is mostly absent. Watching him here is like watching Eddie Murphy in any of the ill-advised family comedies he’s been making for the last twenty years. Clearly Hart is better than the material, but – to me anyways – there just wasn’t enough laughs to really make this work. On an action level, RIDE ALONG isn’t especially memorable either, with lots of generic gunfights, and a jokey performance by Laurence Fishburne as a baddie who lacks any real menace. Then again, this raked in the dough so what do I know?

THE EXTRAS
Fitting for a movie that grossed more than $100 million, the Blu-ray edition of RIDE ALONG is packed with extras.

Feature Commentary: Director Tim Story (FANTASTIC FOUR) contributes a soft-spoken commentary track. Doesn’t it seem like every film these days gets a commentary?

Gag Reel: Hart fans will be especially happy for this five-minute collection of flubbed lines and outtakes. Some of the stuff here is funnier than the movie.

It Was a Good Day: On the Set of RIDE ALONG: This is just your typical twelve-minute EPK on the shooting of the film, with lots of canned interviews from the principals and a soft-spoken Story.

Atlanta: The Character: This is basically a quick offshoot of the EPK focusing on the location shooting in Atlanta.

Alternate Ending: This is a very-sequel friendly ending featuring Hart’s police academy graduation, where he’s picked-up by Cube, and asked if he’s “ready to catch some bad guys?”

Deleted Scenes: Just a short collection of deleted scenes, all of which are pretty inconsequential and added up to less than ten minutes cumulatively.

Kev & Cube’s Wild Ride: This is another featurette focusing on Cube and Hart’s on-screen chemistry, with everyone acting like the two are a buddy pair-up for the ages. Not sure I agree. Riggs and Murtagh they are not.

You’re Gonna Learn Today: Another short featurette, dedicated to Hart’s improv skills, which seem shackled by the PG-13. There’s a funny bit at the beginning when Hart says, “script? Who needs a script?” Given the movie, I’m inclined to agree with him.

Anatomy of the Big Blast: YET ANOTHER short featurette, detailing the big explosion that happens at the climax of the movie’s big action setpiece.

An Explosive Ride: I know, I know. Doesn’t this disc seem low on featurettes? Despite the other half-dozen here, this is YET ANOTHER one, detailing the stunts and action scenes.

FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Given the box office take, RIDE ALONG 2 probably isn’t far away. As always, the buddy-cop genre maintains its popularity, but even amongst the most derivative examples of the genre this is weak, and probably only worth seeing if you’re an absolute devotee of either of the stars.
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