Ride Along Movie Review
Kevin Hart established himself as a box office star with Ride Along, the Ice Cube co-starring buddy cop film that proves underserved audiences will lap anything up, even comedies that aren't funny.
Hart plays a black version of Ben Stiller, who tries to make up for his lack of confidence by talking too much. To convince his out-of-his-league girlfriend's brother (Cube) that he is marriage material, he agrees to accompany the annoyed police officer on a "ride along" to take care of business on the streets. Alleged hilarity ensues, until the unlikely duo stumble across a major conspiracy involving corrupt cops and other clichés.
I've always been a fan of Ice Cube, but his shtick has grown tired--and director Tim Story (the man who has served audiences crap like Fantastic Four and Taxi for well over a decade) fails to utilize the charismatic actor in any positive way. Kevin Hart has his moments, but he's a one-trick pony as far as I can tell and does little to elevate the unoriginal material.
After all, the biggest problem with Ride Along is that everything that happens in the movie has happened in most buddy cop action-comedies since the beginning of buddy cop action-comedies, because it's a generic rip-off of these better movies with nothing more than a new cast designed to cater to African-American audiences. The story is as unoriginal as they come, the action forgettable, and the comedy bland.
In fairness, Ride Along isn't a complete waste. Though it has little going for it, it's ultimately harmless; while not particularly funny, the movie is fast-paced and energetic. It's entertaining in spite of itself, though "entertaining" may be a strong word; rather, it's pretty painless to watch. There are some funny parts--just not enough to fill a 90-minute movie.
Ride Along isn't a terrible movie, but it isn't a very good one, either. As a comedy, it isn't very funny. As an action movie, it isn't very exciting. At least Kevin Hart is entertained, as he continues to laugh as you throw your hard-earned money in his general direction.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.