Let’s take the idea of “Training Day” add a few jokes and a popular comedian and let’s name it “Ride Along”. And let’s hope lots of people buy into the hype.
This is exactly what “Ride Along” feels like… a reboot made for Kevin Hart fans and Ice Cube’s family man image. Ben (Kevin Hart) is a Platinum Level Online Gamer by night and security guard at a high school by day. Trying to find some direction in his life, Ben decides to put what he has learned in online game to test in reality, as he enrols himself into the police academy. But there is more to it, he wants to take on this new job in order to ‘treat his lady proper’ and propose properly. There is, however, one other person standing in his way, his future brother-in-law James (Ice Cube). The two have a bad history and Ben attempts to set it right by earning his blessing by going on a “Ride Along.”
Ice Cube plays James, the hard man in this one, who is overly focused on his career as a detective. He is the type of detective that has a strong sense of justice and more enemies than friends. James is bent on making Ben’s ride along the most boring and annoying experience ever, in the hopes that Ben will cave and not join the Police Academy. What follows is the most predictable weak plot that I have actually sat through in a long time. Sure, Kevin Hart’s rambles are funny but the jokes and punch lines seem forced and once again too predictable. As a reviewer you cannot even delve too much into the story without giving everything away in this one.
Kevin Hart stand-up comedy… hilarious… Kevin Hart in Ride Along… not so much. What’s happening here is Hollywood trying to cash in on a popular comedian, that has a popular TV show as well. His rambling style of joking works out well in the beginning but there is only that much you can take before it becomes monotonous. Ice Cube offers his aggressive humour as back-up in this action comedy… but this is no “Friday after next”. This is not the type of movie you will end up sitting through again. It is not funny or memorable enough to warrant another viewing. The incorporation of the gaming community and gaming culture was actually the only breath of fresh air that was on offer in this rather lacklustre “blockbuster”.
Sure, it did well at the US Box Office, but you can thank the Kevin Hart fans for that. Ride Along does not live up to the hype or its comedic potential. Surely Greg Coolidge has seen Training Day and Blue Streak? Surely the final result could have being better, more thought out, clever and original? Instead, this film offers nothing new and is solely riding along on the back of Kevin Hart’s success. It is watchable for sure, but as action comedy… expect to leave the cinema remembering one joke… if you are lucky.