Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Review 260: "Ride Along"

Propose to this cop's sister?
Rookie movie.

Hart of the Matter

      Ride Along is a 2014 buddy cop comedy. It did well in the box office this past January and as such has a sequel planned for 2016. The film was directed by Tim Story (Fantastic Four) and was written by Greg Coolidge (Employee of the Month), Jason Mantzoukas (Childrens Hospital), Phil Hay (R.I.P.D.) and Matt Manfredi (Clash of the Titans). The film follows Ben (Kevin Hart), who plans on proposing to his girlfriend Angela (Tika Sumpter) and enrolling in the police academy. But first, he has to get the blessing of Angela's top cop brother James (Ice Cube), who agrees to give it to him only after Ben goes on a ride along with him. At the same time, two cop friends of James, Santiago (John Leguizamo) and Miggs (Bryan Callen) are tasked with keeping an eye on dangerous criminal Omar (Laurence Fishburne). And, surprise, surprise, the two stories collide.

Hay, man.
Buddy Cop Antics

      I think about all I really need to say in relation to Ride Along is just look at it's poster. Poorly photoshopped, featuring it's two main leads giving each other funny looks in front of something cool, i.e. a muscle car. Ride Along never strays far from buddy cop cliches. To be perfectly honest, I can't think of one thing in this movie that hasn't been done before in some other buddy cop comedy. I feel like a broken record with how many times a movie like this comes up, but Ride Along is unfortunately the latest in a line of generic movies, including last year's 2 Guns. The cool cop has his request car that can't never get scratched that will get completely destroyed. The lame cop has the special secret skill that saves them in the end, except here, it's a pathetic attempt to make the alpha male gamers in the audience justify all their Call of Duty-ing. Yes, it gets personal in the third act thanks to the kidnapping of a female character. There's even the cliche of the cops think a real dangerous situation is fake. Ride Along feels like it's trying to win buddy cop bingo.

What's So Funny?

      Of course, all of that could be forgiven as long as the film brings the laughs and unfortunately, those are in short supply in Ride Along. It's nothing offensive or mean or even all that painful to sit through, but if you want to see all of Ride Along's funniest bits, look no further than the trailer. The funniest scene is when Ben accidentally shoots a suspect during an interrogation, but you knew that already didn't you. How about when he fires the shotgun and flies back into the wall? In the trailer as well. A climatic moment where Ben has to pretend to be a bad guy is the funniest bit not spoiled by the trailer, but it comes nearly an hour into the movie and by then it's too little too late. That said, I never was too bored during the film as the cast does do a very good job and director Story does keep the movie going, even if directing action isn't his strongest suit.

Don't look so surprised.
The Verdict

      And that's really all there is to say about Ride Along. The cast might try their hardest to gets some laughs and it's easy to see why so many people like Kevin Hart, the film just can never prove itself worth of marrying our sister. ...That didn't work like I thought it would. Look, the film buries itself under a mountain of buddy cop comedy cliches and can't counteract it with really any funny jokes. Ride Along is really a perfect example of just go watch the trailer. Ride Along gets 3 stars out of 6.

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