Oh my God, he a zombie! Headshot! Walking Dead shit, James!
Ride Along 2 is the sequel to the 2014 comedy film starring Kevin Hart and Ice Cube.
After the events of the first film, Ben Barber has graduated from the police academy and is now an officer alongside Detective James Payton, his future brother-in-law. Ben is committed to becoming a detective like James, but his impulsion and clumsiness makes everyone doubt that he’s ready. He decides to prove his abilities once more by joining an assignment James has in Miami involving drug suppliers. James refuses at first, but ultimately agrees both as a favor to his sister Angela and to prove that Ben doesn’t have what it takes to be a detective.
Pros: I really enjoyed the first Ride Along movie as an engaging, strong comedy. (It even ranked #8 during the 2014 Movie Countdown). Luckily, most of what made the first film enjoyable carries over in this new installment.
The film’s strongest feature is definitely the cast. Once again, Kevin Hart and Ice Cube prove an excellent comedic duo. True, neither of them are necessarily outside their comfort zone acting-wise, but that’s what makes it work so well. Kevin Hart the quick-talking, hyperactive guy over his head while Ice Cube is the intimidating one who puts Hart in his place. It’s what drives the story forward and harbors the film’s comedic situations. Additionally, Olivia Munn does a good job with her fair share of good moments. Ken Jeong is admittedly just around during the movie, but he’s Ken Jeong. He’s an enjoyable character.
The film’s story is decent at the very least. Aside from the fact that it’s a slight retreading of the original, it does enough things to separate itself from the first film. There’s the change in scenery from Atlanta to Miami, the whole team aspect instead of a duo, and the emphasis being more on the actual case than Ben trying to be a detective. So, it does manage to feel marginally refreshing for those who’ve seen the first film.
Cons: Unfortunately this is where I’ll have to get into the comedy. Let me be clear that I did enjoy a good number of jokes throughout the film. This film is far from unfunny, but most of the film’s best jokes were already shown in the trailers. That wouldn’t be so bad if they left a couple really good ones for the actual movie, but they didn’t. Compared to the humor they did hold back, the jokes are mostly chuckles and half-laughs. I dare say that there were extended periods of time where I didn’t laugh, especially towards the end where the comedy seems to just stop.
That’s not to say that those jokes are any less funny for being in the trailer, or that there aren’t still really funny parts left in the movie. For example, I actually really liked the Miami chase scene. However, there isn’t enough surprises to constitute seeing the movie after seeing the trailer. The part where Kevin’s an ambassador. The zombie joke. The fan gag. Those are some of the film’s hardest-hitting jokes, but you don’t need to see the movie to experience them.
Verdict: Compared to its brother, Ride Along 2 is a disappointing sequel. On its own, it’s a slightly generic comedy with a decent amount of solid jokes (had you not seen the trailers) and an array of half-laughs. I don’t hate this movie by any means. There are much worse comedies out there, but I’d much rather see the original.
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