I wasn’t expecting much out of the odd couple cop film Ride Along when I sat down to watch it. But after a vanilla opening action sequence that is typical of Tim Story’s subpart directing abilities, Ride Along surprised me. For a 15 minute stretch, Ride Along made me laugh the hardest I have in a movie since We’re the Millers last summer. I thought that maybe Ride Along would end up being a nice surprise in the movie Dead Zone. But instead I was left with lame jokes, poorly executed action scenes and typical twists that you can see coming from a mile away.
We get it, creators of Ride Along, Kevin Hart is short. But there’s no need to make a joke every ten minutes about Hart’s tiny stature. I have always viewed Tim Story as a lackluster director that ruined my childhood with his take on the Fantastic Four franchise and helmed the overrated Barbershop series. This time around, Story shows off the same mediocre skills with no signs of growth as a director. At one point, Story allows Ice Cube to look at the camera and say “It was a good day”. For real? Even the audience let out a collective groan.
The real problem with Ride Along is the chemistry between Kevin Hart and Ice Cube. Hart plays Ben, a future police academy cadet who wants to impress his girlfriend’s hard-nosed, cop brother James played by Ice Cube. For whatever reason, the duo just did not click. Most of the blame for the poor chemistry lies on Ice Cube who seems to be a little to comfortable on-screen with his director pal Story. Ice Cube plays James way too stiff which eliminates some of the humor of Ride Along. Hart is actually not bad and proves he can hold his own on the big screen. It’s just too bad Tim Story and Ice Cube could hold up their end of the bargain.
Overall, I give Ride Along 2 out of 4 stars.
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