The first Ride Along came out in 2014, and certainly delivered on exactly what it promised – Kevin Hart being loud and funny while Ice Cube is cold and stony. Two years later – here we are with a sequel that promises more of the same, and again, delivers exactly what it promises.
In the first Ride Along, loudmouth Ben Barber was a security guard who wanted to become a cop – his girlfriend’s brother James is an Atlanta detective who takes the annoying Ben on a Ride Along to attempt to scare him away from both the job and his sister.
Along the way, Ben accidentally becomes useful, and he and James bond a bit. Now, picking up where we left off, Ben has successfully become a cop, is about to marry Angela (James’s sister) - and seems to be backing up James and his partner, a Tyrese-type, while out on a drug bust.
They try to track down the drugs so they can catch the supplier and quickly learn that the drugs are coming out of Miami. At first, James does not want to take Ben along – but then seems to get the idea that taking him along may scare him out of either being a cop or marrying his sister? It’s the same plan that did not work in the first movie, so I’m not sure why he thought it would work again. In either case, Angela is happy to have Ben out of the house for a bit so that she can work with their wedding planner on the details for the big day.
While down in Miami, James and Ben get assistance from Maya (a no-nonsense Miami detective) and A.J., a hacker who seems to have details on the supplier, Antonio Pope. Hijinks ensue, and inevitably, James and Ben bond a bit more while attempting to bring down Pope.
That’s about it, really – again, you’re not going to this movie for the plot, you’re going to see Kevin Hart make you laugh, and Ice Cube keep a straight face while he does it. Director Tim Story (Think Like a Man Too, Ride Along, Think Like A Man, Hurricane Season, Fantastic 4 (both), Taxi Barbershop), gives you more of the same – and while it may not be original, it’s certainly sufficient.
- Ice Cube plays Ice Cube as a police detective, and spends most of the movie annoyed at Kevin Hart, and slightly into Olivia Munn’s Maya. You have to admire Ice Cube – he’s a man who knows his limited range, and stays comfortably inside of it. Perfect.
- Kevin Hart is easily one of the funniest stand-ups working today and is completely hilarious. He’s best when paired with a straight man, and Ice Cube stays completely straight-laced and aggressive against him, which allows him to go a little bit crazy. Again – I wouldn’t mind if they had let him go a little bit more, but he’s still really funny.
- Tika Sumpter plays Angela, and has even less to do in this movie than she did in the first movie. She basically attempts to keep Ben and Sheri Sheppard’s wedding planner from tearing each other’s throats out. Where did Ben and Angela get the money for the wedding this planner is suggesting?
- Benjamin Bratt – the beautiful Benjamin Bratt – plays Antonio Pope, and does an excellent job of being a really slick ‘legitimate businessman’ while doing all kinds of Miami terrible-ness behind the scenes.
- Olivia Munn plays Maya – and has the same Miami female detective tank-tops that Jaina Lee Ortiz does on Rosewood. She’s mainly there to be hard-assed and yell at the guys, and she does that fine, but Munn is capable of so much more, comedy-wise – it’s a shame they didn’t use her more to her full potential.
- Ken Jeong plays hacker A.J. – and while you can debate all you want about the casting there and whether or not that role was written for someone completely different – his comedy playing off Kevin Hart’s is certainly entertaining, especially in the back seat of the car during the stakeout. I would like a buddy movie with the two of them.
- Bruce McGill again plays their Atlanta boss, who is tired of their shenanigans!
Overall, it’s exactly what you think it is – nothing more, nothing less. Yes, many of the jokes are in the commercials, but it’s still pretty funny. Certainly perfect mindless entertainment for a gloomy winter day!
6 out of 10 – same score as the first one. Gained points for the alligator scene, which should not have been funny – but was. Lost points for not using Olivia Munn better.
Bonus Video – Can’t wait for this!
Bonus 2 - Any time Kevin and Cube hang out with Conan - it's hilarious.