While I don’t like Ride Along by any stretch, I wouldn’t hate you if you asked me to watch it with you. It had a few decent jokes and a somewhat interesting plot, but in the long run, it was just another throwaway buddy-cop film. Ride Along 2 stood no chance as it has even less story and ideas to go off of! What am I stalling for (besides the obvious)? Let’s start 2016 with one turd of a film! Ride Along 2 is directed by Tim Story and written by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi. Stars-Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, Ken Jeong, and Benjamin Bratt. Premise-Probation officer Ben Barber (Hart) wants to prove himself to be detective worthy by accompanying James Payton (Cube) on a trip to Miami to trace a tip that they hope will leads them to one of Miami’s top drug lords, at the same time Ben is going to get married to Angela Payton in the next few days.
If you were to take every buddy-cop genre film ever made, remove any semblance of charm, wit or chemistry, throw what was left into a blender, add the leftover gags from Paul Blart 2, flush that down a toilet, and then fish it out of the sewer two decades later, you would get Rush Hour 3, Bad Boys 2, and Ride Along 2. This particular genre can and has been done extraordinarily well before (Lethal Weapon, Rush Hour, Men in Black, The Other Guys), but it takes spot-on casting, creatively interesting plots, and a ridiculous amount of comedic talent. Considering almost every Tim Story movie has none of these qualities, how creative or funny could Ride Along 2 possibly be? This movie is incredibly boring! The first 15 minutes are almost nothing but filler until we actually get to the plot! That time could have been used for funny jokes, but there are hardly any decent jokes in this whole movie. I honestly can’t tell if Kevin Hart is trying way too hard, or if it is just poor direction, but man is he unfunny in this movie! The best way I could describe his performance is that it’s the worst Chris Tucker impersonation since The Nostalgia Critic! Most of the jokes are made by him, or make fun of him. That gets really old when it’s pretty much the same joke every time (hurr, hurr, he’s an idiot). Kevin Hart can be really funny, so it just makes me sad to see his talent be tossed aside in favor of making him a one-note slapstick generator. Not even Ice Cube’s straight man character can save these overdone gags anymore. The rest of the cast isn’t much better. Cube is just phoning it in at this point, Jeong is annoying as usual, and Bratt is your typical uninteresting, clichéd, evil rich guy who just wants more money.
The story itself is one you have seen multiple times over, the plot points are obvious, and the twists are uninspired. The action scenes are horrendously shot as well (we meet again, shaky cam!). The sound mixing is so poor that I’d swear its set on “maximum,” the production design is incredibly cheap, and the side characters are bland. The one scene I found bizarrely enjoyable was a car chase. Remember Ben’s video game character trait? That is implemented into the car chase, and it did provide the one decent scene in the movie.
I know this is one of my shorter reviews, but what else is there to say? This movie was so paint-by-numbers it couldn’t even give me something new to riff on! Ride long 2 is bland, boring, not worth your money, and receives Guy’s Guru Grade of a D.