I’ve been waiting to talk about this movie. This was the first movie I saw in 2014. It was January, my mother’s birthday, and she chose to watch the latest movie starring one of my favorite stand-up comedians. January seems to be the month of the Kevin Hart film, and this is one of the first movies I’ve seen with him. I also happen to be a sucker for buddy-buddy cop movies, and Ice Cube has earned my respect as a comedic actor in his past movies. When you place these elements together, you get Ride Along, one of the funniest films of the year.
Ride Along stars Ice Cube as James, a respected and accomplished police officer, and Kevin Hart as Ben, a perspective student of a police academy and boyfriend of James’ sister. Ben seeks James’ blessing for him to marry his sister Angela (played by Tika Sumpter), seeing his acceptance into the police academy as the perfect opportunity. Because of James’ resentment of Ben, he formulates a plan to defeat Ben’s efforts to become a police officer.
James takes Ben for a “ride along”, where Ben can experience and assist James for one day to prove himself. Little does Ben know that James deliberately constructs the ride along to be needlessly crazy and difficult in order to discourage him. Meanwhile, James continues his search for a notorious drug dealer named Omar.
Comedies are a very difficult thing for me to review in a non-spoilers way, because what makes any good comedy work are the jokes. Let me tell you that this film is one of the funniest films you’ll see in a while. But for me to be the one who spoils them for you would be a crime. So I’ll be as brief as possible in discussing the comedy.
When it comes to buddy cop films, the star of the show are your two main leads. With that said, Kevin Hart and Ice Cube make a fantastic comedy duo. Both actors are hilarious on their own due to their two specific styles of delivery. We are all familiar with what these two can and have done in previous works. Hart is arguably the funniest stand-up comedian alive, and Ice Cube is in my opinion the perfect comedic gangster.
However, when you put these two together is when you get something truly golden. Ice Cube and Hart have excellent chemistry with one another. Some of my favorite demonstrations of this chemistry are their conversations inside the car, because it’s just them talking and bouncing their personalities off of each other. Without saying specific jokes, believe me when I say these are some of the richest parts of the film.
While we’re discussing the two leads, the acting is also great. Besides Hart and Ice Cube who I already discussed, Tika Sumpter does a good job as Angela. John Leguizamo, Bryan Callen, and Laurence Fishbourne are also among the many good performances present in the film.
The musical score mainly consists of popular hip hop, rap, and R&B songs that even the most casual listeners of the genres will recognize. The original compositions for the action scenes and tender moments are nice sounding but don’t stand out. Production values for the film such as camerawork and lighting are also well-done.
Ride Along was very close to being my favorite comedy of the year, especially since I’ve watched this one probably the most times of any comedy of last year. Even though I couldn’t award it that honor, I will gladly say it’s worth seeing to any fan of comedy. As far as buddy cop films go, this is up there with the greats like Rush Hour and Jumpstreet. And any fan of Kevin Hart, Ice Cube, or both should most certainly not let this one slip from your radar. It may not the funniest movie ever, but I dare you not to at least smile at the jokes here. The only way you’ll hate the film is if you hate either of the leads.
I look forward to watching this film again before the sequel comes out early next year. Hopefully you will, too.
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