If it feels like deja VIEW, it is. Almost two years to the day (and MLK weekend opening slot) we get the inevitable sequel to Ride Along, cleverly titled Ride Along 2.
Like the first one, this edition is notable only for the effective odd couple teaming of scowling straight man Ice Cube and motormouth comedian Kevin Hart who takes his usual act to new extremes this time, especially in a cartoonish standoff with an alligator. The alligator bit was a brainless no-brainer, since most of the action this time takes place in Miami where veteran cop James (Ice Cube) takes now rookie cop Ben (Hart) on a mission to smoke out a shady and corrupt shopping center mogul (Benjamin Bratt) who pushes drugs on the side. Their way in is through his henchman, a dopey computer hacker played in his usual comic style by Ken Jeong. Somewhere along the way, Jeong joins up with the cops in their quest to take down Bratt, but NOT before a frantic foot-chase through Miami neighborhoods as Hart takes after Jeong at a pace only the Road Runner could appreciate.
As I say in my video review (click the link above to watch), none of the plot really matters as this is just an updated Abbott and Costello act for Cube and Hart who play off each other nicely, just what the fans expect. The glue that brings them together is the remaining fact that Ben is hooked up with James’ sister. Now in the sequel, he is about to become his brother-in-law as the wedding is just days away. Of course duty calls, and James feels the timing is perfect to get rookie Ben off the force before he can do more harm, hence the Miami trip where he is convinced his about-to-be bro-in-law will screw up.
'Ride Along 2' Speeding To $48M-$50M Over 4-Day MLK Holiday, '13 Hours' Striking $23M - Friday Noon Box Office
As for the women in all of this, there is tough Miami detective Olivia Munn (The Daily Show) who has little to do other than look good. She does that well. Also there is Tika Sumpter, back as Hart’s fiancee who spends most of her scenes talking on the phone to her intended and telling him to come home soon. The View‘s Sherri Shepherd is also in for a few scenes, mostly planning their wedding for them. Certainly those who love the Kevin Hart brand will be coming back for more, but fair warning, he takes this one waaaaaaaaay over the top. Director Tim Story gets the predictable shenanigans on screen in a competent fashion, never letting the pace slow down for even a moment of real life. The screenplay comes by way of Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, and though much of this looks improvised, I did laugh a couple of times, but creatively this ride is mostly Straight Outta gas. Fans won’t care.
Producers are Matt Alvarez, William Packer, Ice Cube, and the late Larry Brezner. Universal will probably be counting lots of money this holiday weekend.
Do you plan to see Ride Along 2? Let us know what you think.
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