ride along 2

When it comes to comedy films it’s very difficult to provide an opinion that will help people know if they’ll share a similar opinion. The best way to do that with Ride Along 2 is to offer an opinion on other Kevin Hart films so you know if our tastes are similar. Get Hard wasn’t bad, The Wedding Ringer was slightly above average, Top Five was great (although Hart’s role wasn’t very large) and Think Like A Man was also pretty good. Ride Along 2 falls below where the original landed and toward the bottom of the Kevin Hart pile of films.

Ice Cube and Kevin Hart are back, reprising their roles as James Payton and Ben Barber (Black Hammer) respectively. The first big difference between the original film and the sequel are that screenplay writers Greg Coolidge and Jason Mantzoukas are gone. How much influence they had over the original isn’t known (although Coolidge is credited with the characters), but judging by these two films, their presence is sorely missed.

In addition to Cube and Hart, Tika Sumpter is back in limited capacity as Angela Payton and Bruce McGill returns as Lt. Brooks. Black Hammer has joined the police force and after some convincing he heads down to Miami with Detective Payton while his bride-to-be finalizes their wedding, which is due to happen four days after the movie begins.

Sherri Shepherd joins the cast as Cori the wedding planner, who is easily the best addition to the film franchise. She is by far the most believable character in the film as a constant annoyance to Barber. She’s not in many scenes, but she steals every scene she’s involved in. The other main additions are Olivia Munn as Maya, a detective in Miami, Benjamin Bratt as Antonio Pope, the primary antagonist, and Ken Jeong as additional comedic relief, A.J. the hacker.

Every role in the film is standard issue and predictable. Very little will surprise you about any of these characters, especially if you’ve seen the trailers. In fact, almost every funny moment in the film is spoiled in the trailers that Universal released. Even the accompanying audience didn’t laugh much beyond the big jokes from the trailers.

Ice Cube is flat and doesn’t come off as annoyed or even amused. This is the typical character Cube plays in most of his films, but he does a fairly poor job of it here. Munn is supposed to be Cube’s equivalent down in Miami, and while she has a decent tough side to her, the chemistry between the two is laughable at best. Hart’s performance is on par with many of his other films, but without a good set of supporting actors to vibe off of, even his jokes end up falling flat.

There isn’t much to enjoy in Ride Along 2, especially if you’ve already seen even one trailer for the movie. Don’t waste your time or money seeing it in theaters because the first film was considerably better and almost every other Kevin Hart film is far superior. If you were able to skip all of the trailers for Ride Along 2, you will get a few laughs out of it, especially if you’re a Kevin Hart fan. Otherwise, skip this one and wait for it to hit cable or Netflix.

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About Ride Along 2

Synopsis: As his wedding day approaches, Ben heads to Miami with his soon-to-be brother-in-law James to bring down a drug dealer who’s supplying the dealers of Atlanta with product.

Director: Tim Story

Writers: Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi

Stars: Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, Tika Sumpter

Rated: PG-13

Runtime: 101 Minutes

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