One year ago, I was writing about the first Ride Along movie, describing it as a typical mid-January offering that served as perfectly harmless, mindless entertainment. I wish I could say the same about the sequel, Ride Along 2. But it doesn’t quite rise to the level of mindless entertainment. It’s more like an extended episode of a bad Miami Vice spoof that elicits the occasional laugh-out-loud moment before falling back into a pit of predictability, clichés, and plot-holes.
Here’s the gist: As his wedding day approaches, overzealous rookie cop Ben (Kevin Hart) heads to Miami with his soon-to-be brother-in-law James (Ice Cube), a straight-laced detective, to bring down a murderous drug dealer (Benjamin Bratt) who’s supplying dealers in Atlanta. They are assisted, sort of, by a hot Miami homicide detective (Olivia Munn) and a techno-geek (Ken Jeong) with a target on his back.
Much has been said (or perhaps, just played-up in joint appearances) about the comedic chemistry between Hart and Cube. It was far more evident in the first Ride Along. This time around, Kevin Hart seems more committed to his role than Ice Cube, who spends most of the movie rolling his eyes and shaking his head at Ben’s ineptitude… until, of course, Ben stumbles into hero territory, yet again.
I somewhat affectionately described last year’s Ride Along as Beverly Hills Cop-light. But its surprise success at the box office obviously led to a misguided rush to sequel. The result is a disappointment. I hope the filmmakers learn from their mistakes and don’t subject us to a third ride-along, unless and until there’s a decent script and less-contrived plot to go with it. The cars were cool, though.