Movie Review: ‘Ride Along 2’ jumps ahead of Star Wars during opening weekend but that doesn’t mean you need to rush out and watch it
Before I begin, I just want to say how happy I was to see that “Ride Along 2” usurped “The Force Awakens’” month-long reign of box office supremacy. It also prevented Michael Bay’s slick propaganda-palooza “13 Hours” from reaching the No. 1 spot even though it more than likely has a scene of Hillary Clinton stabbing an American eagle with a pitchfork and shot by a missile just as she’s about to sign a bill making Sharia Law mandatory in the U.S. (It doesn’t kill her. It merely melts off the synthoflesh that envelopes her Clintonantium infused cyborg body.)
But even though “Ride Along 2” has done some positive things, it still remains an unnecessary movie that doesn’t seem to serve much of a purpose beyond reminding everybody that Kevin Hart is still short, Olivia Munn still has all of her boobs and Miami is the kind of setting filmmakers utilize when they’re out of ideas.
Why does “Ride Along 2” exist? Granted, the first one made money (during a month where most entertainment options are, in essence, stillborn) but who, after watching “Ride Along,” rose from their theater seats, advanced toward director Tim Story, with spoon and basin in hand and said: “Please sir, I want some more.” Only with an unconvincing CGI crocodile and that guy from “Law & Order” who briefly dated Julia Roberts for some reason.
I didn’t ask for it and if you’re still reading at this point, you probably didn’t either. And yet, “Ride Along 2” is a movie you can pay to watch in theatres or watch for free on your television if you own a hacked Amazon Fire TV Stick. How did this happen? Well, whatever the answer may be, it’s already too late. “Ride Along 3” -which will probably be set in London, England, and feature Rebel Wilson in some capacity – is a forgone conclusion at this point.
Exemplifying the ‘eh-it’s-better-than-nothing’, place-holder style of filmmaking that passes for entertainment during the dead of winter, “Ride Along 2” is an action comedy in the loosest sense of the word. Bullets are fired, cars scoot and crash about and a little man has his tiny head struck by a ceiling fan. But it’s not exactly thrilling or funny. Much like its predecessor, “Ride Along 2” follows the “Lethal Weapon” template after it was stripped down to its barest, most generic components. The film opens with a parody of “The Fast and the Furious” franchise but only if your definition of parody amounts to pointing at the “Furious 7” one-sheet as you say, “Ha, ha! This exists!”
There’s a Tyrese Gibson cameo and there are muscle cars and Hart does that hyper, flailing thing that, I guess, people find amusing, but like the rest of the movie, it’s just loud noises and competently framed visuals. Once again, mismatched cop fellas Hart and Ice Cube are wearing badges and have different personalities! But this time it’s happening in a city where women wash their boobs in public and in slow motion. Also, Ken Jeong is along for the ride because one tiny, shrieking man wasn’t enough. Oh, and Munn is here too playing a cop who appears at crime scenes in a sports bra presumably because the filmmakers couldn’t film her appearing at crime scenes while topless.
It should be noted that “Ride Along 2” isn’t useless just because it’s only a slight variation on its predecessor. It’s useless because it’s only a slight variation on practically every buddy cop movie ever made. The differences between “Ride Along 2” and movies like “Rush Hour 3”, “Showtime” and “Cop Out” are purely cosmetic. Believe me, you’ve seen this movie before and you’ve seen it done a lot better. The one thing preventing these flavorless movies from teetering into the abyss of unwatchability is Ice Cube, whose eerie commitment and pure unfiltered annoyance at Hart’s character is the one aspect you’ll find in these movies that faintly resembles comedy.
Like Robert DeNiro in “Meet the Parents”, Cube manages to upstage Hart with just a grunt or an eye-roll. He’s a natural comedian and unlike his costar, he’s not desperately straining for a laugh that isn’t coming. Nonetheless, in spite of Cube’s participation, “Ride Along 2” isn’t worth seeing because you’ve already sat through this movie more than once and you didn’t like it all of those other times either.
Mike Sullivan is a movie reviewer for Weekender. Movie reviews appear weekly in Weekender.
“Ride Along 2”
Starring: Kevin Hart, Ice Cube, Olivia Munn, Ken Jeong
Director: Tim Story
Weekender Rating: W
Length: 101 min