After months of hype and advertising I gave in and went to see “Ride Along”, the buddy cop Kevin Hart vehicle, co-starring Ice Cube. Unfortunately, if you’ve seen all of the hype (like I have) you’ve also seen about 70% of the big jokes in the movie. The movie itself is a fairly bland attempt at creating a platform to showcase Kevin Hart with Ice Cube playing the foil. Hart plays a bumbling security guard with aspirations of becoming a police officer and Cube plays his disapproving soon-to-be-brother-in-law, who is also a loose canon detective. The premise of the film is that Cube takes Hart along with him on a one day ride along in order to discourage him from pursuing a career in law enforcement and proving to him that he’s not worthy to marry his sister. Predictably, things go awry and the duo is forced to step in and solve a high stakes case.
The plot of the film is decently plotted out for what it is. Unfortunately, it seems like relatively little effort went into planning the comedy. There’s a couple of running gags that get the minimum number of callbacks throughout the movie and roughly 8 large gags (like I mentioned before, many of the punchlines to the big scenes are in the previews). The remainder of the movie really relies on Hart’s banter for its humor. While his comedy is up to it’s normal standards it seems a little out of place when he’s playing off of the other people in this film, especially Ice Cube who spends most of his time in this film trying to play angry while seeming to forget to play funny. The exception to this being a couple of groan worthy scenes where he forces some jokes, the worst of which is a point where breaks the fourth wall to deliver the line, “today was a good day”.
I know that this has seemed like the movie wasn’t enjoyable, which isn’t the case. It does suffer from some uneven pacing, but when the jokes land they generally land really well. You just have to be prepared to wait about 15 minutes to get the next big joke. The one scene that’s an exception to this is where Kevin Hart decides to impersonate a crime boss named Omar to great comic effect. Overall, I’d recommend watching it if you’re a fan of Kevin Hart or that style of comedy. However, I wouldn’t recommend spending the money to go see it in theaters. There’s nothing enjoyable about this movie that couldn’t be enjoyed at home.