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Review: Ride Along 2

Ride Along 2
01.15.2016
2 10

PLOT: Atlanta cop James Payton and his imminent brother-in-law Ben Barber travel to Miami to bust up a drug ring. Hilarity ensues.

REVIEW: RIDE ALONG 2 is such a bummer to sit through. It's hardly even a movie, it's like a commercial for some obnoxious product that it should be ashamed of promoting. I genuinely thought it would be impossible for this sequel to sink lower than the original, but somehow it is indeed worse. Whereas the first film is a bad time, the sequel is a genuine chore. It's less funny, somehow, and it's also so by-the-numbers it doesn't even seem to be working to gain our enjoyment or interest.

The weird thing is, I want to give it the benefit of the doubt because I like Ice Cube and I sort of want to like Kevin Hart. I think Hart is a talented performer and, if he has the right material, capable of being entertaining. (See the ABOUT LAST NIGHT... remake, which uses him to good effect.) But the RIDE ALONG movies indulge Hart's worst instincts; he's shrill and annoying and not fun to watch. I know that's the point of his character, the over-confident, under-prepared wannabe cop Ben Barber, but does he have to be so completely ridiculous?

What to say about the plot. The film picks up some time after the first, with tough cop James Payton (Ice Cube) having somewhat come to grips with his brother-in-law to be Ben and the two working in tandem on a case involving a suave businessman who's mixed up in some criminal activities; he's played by Benjamin Bratt, who manages to be far more interesting than the movie deserves. The film is set in Miami for no other reason than to mix things up and provide the stars with a nice vacation in Florida. Lord knows it doesn't look like anyone is actually working. James and Ben have some new cohorts to work with this time, including a sexy cop named Maya (Olivia Munn, who is given zero interesting things to do other than look pissed off) and a computer hacker played by Ken Jeong. As soon as I saw Ken Jeong I sighed a very heavy sigh. It's as if RIDE ALONG 2 director Tim Story asked himself, "How do I make this less funny? Oh, lets add Ken Jeong" who is about as amusing as bad news from a doctor.

On the one hand, you kinda have to hand it to Hart for fully investing in this role; that's a true commitment. I know he's uber-successful and he's doing what audiences enjoy from him (I guess?), but the role of Ben is so aggressively bad that you wonder why the comedian wouldn't be keen on making him just a tad more agreeable. You don't even want James to accept him fully, because who could? When a person is this unpalatable and foolish, you distance yourself from them. There have been hundreds of lovable doofuses in cinema before, so it's not unheard of to make a silly character someone you care about; Ben is not one of those. I find myself actively rooting against him, imagining scenarios where he'd maybe suffer a fatal accident and exit the movie. This is what RIDE ALONG 2 does to you.

There weren't many people at my screening of the film, but the ones who were there seemed to be enjoying themselves, so what do I know? I'm not trying to be mean or insulting, and since RIDE ALONG 2 is likely going to make a lot of money this weekend, I'm sure none of its key contributors care what I think. I'm just baffled by its apparent commitment to being so lazy, derivative and irritating. It also feels endless; only 104 minutes, but 85-90 would have been just fine. But honestly, 5 minutes of RIDE ALONG is too much.

When RIDE ALONG 3 is announced, it'll be a dark day for our species.

Source: JoBlo.com

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