Ride Along 2
Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, Olivia Munn, Ken Jeong
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…there’s something exhausting in watching Hart exert himself for a film offering him very little in return.
Following the lazy formula to making a sequel, which consists of making everything bigger while keeping things exactly the same, comes Ride Along 2. There’s zero innovation to be found here, with the script content to ride along solely on the chemistry of its two stars. Lucky then one of those stars is Kevin Hart, whose manic energy and charm just about saves this film.
In a movie like this, the plot barely matters, but here it is: Ben (Hart) has moved up the ranks from security guard and is now an actual police rookie looking to follow in the footsteps of gruff detective and his brother-in-law-to-be James (Ice Cube, who ironically once sung “Fuck Tha Police”!). The week before Ben’s wedding, the bickering pair head to Miami to help bring down a drug lord (Benjamin Bratt). Ben hopes the trip is his chance to prove himself once and for all, while James hopes it’s a chance to get rid of this constant thorn in his side.
While the narrative may be recycled, Ride Along 2 scores two new additions in Ken Jeong as a renegade hacker, and Olivia Munn as a striking and tough-as-nails local detective. However, they can’t do much with this anything goes material, and the majority of heavy lifting is left to its two leads. While Cube has perfected the menacing glare, it’s Hart who steals the show – whether he’s arguing with his wedding planner over his Pinterest account or being used as a human shield by Cube in one of the film’s funnier moments. While he’s a delight to watch, there’s also something exhausting in watching Hart exert himself for a film offering him very little in return. He deserves better, as does the audience.