The brother-in-law’s are back. Yeah…I just stole my opening line from the movie I’m writing about, what can I say, it’s catchy! Ride Along was the funniest movie of 2014 in my oh so humble opinion, one of those movies that would make even the quietest guy in the group laugh out loud, consistently funny in at least 5 different ways bringing clever writing, pop culture references and physical comedy, among at least 2 other things (I did say 5 ways) under one roof to crack up audiences around the country. Of course this can mean only one thing, SEQUEL! Though something strange has happened in recent years, sequel doesn’t seem to be such a dirty word anymore. What used to be a dirty word in Hollywood has become something to actually look forward to, in some cases. Ride Along 2 is one of those cases. Ben Barber (Kevin Hart) is finally a badge and gun carrying police officer, now in his rookie year and a week away from marrying the far too much woman for him, Angela (Tika Sumpter) while still desperately trying to impress his future brother-in-law James (Ice Cube). After blowing James’s undercover operation and getting his partner shot Ben manages to weasel his way into a road trip to Miami where James needs to pick up a computer hacker named A.J. (Ken Jeong) who may have information that will lead to his suspect. Surprise, surprise, all is not what it seems and the two get in way over their heads after finding out A.J. actually works for the biggest drug trafficker in Miami…who also happens to be a respected public figure. Helped out by Maya (Olivia Munn), a Miami detective who James just may have a thing for, the three take it to the edge trying to bust the bad guys and keep A.J. alive.
Ride Along lived and died on the chemistry between Cube and Hart, thankfully for us they have the kind of chemistry that you only see in the best comedy teams, Abbot and Costello, Ferrell and Reilly, etc. When you have that proverbial lightning in the bottle it’s almost impossible to add more to the mix and have it fly, as a matter of fact the last one I can think of that worked is Lethal Weapon 3 which added Joe Pesci to the Gibson/Glover sandwich and worked out better than anyone could have imagined. In comes Ken Jeong the salt of cinema, you can add him to any cinematic meal and it just improves the taste. He doesn’t disappoint, I’ve never seen him not meld with his co-stars and this flick is no exception. Jeong and Hart together on screen almost become too much to handle. You’d almost feel bad for Ice Cube having to put up with it if you weren’t laughing so hard. Speaking of Cube, is there anyone better at playing the “straight man” side of a comedy two-some working today? Seriously, the baddest dude in NWA has become a top level comedic actor. There’s something about his seriousness that makes every situation that much more funny. Olivia Munn doesn’t have much to do in the comedy department, which is kind of a downer as she has a talent for the goofball antics but that’s not really her character in this flick. If I can be totally misogynistic for a second, there is a can’t miss dance scene in the film that really makes me ready to see her turn as Psylocke in the next X-Men film.
So, yeah, the supporting cast is great but let’s be real, this is Kevin Hart’s movie and like he almost always does, he kills it. It’s hard to believe that the guy who once starred in Soul Plane (not going to lie, it’s a guilty pleasure) is the most consistently hilarious actor working today. This movie would get my recommendation if it was only comprised of two scenes; Ben Barber undercover as an African dignitary, and the car chase in which Ben transforms the real world into his GTA knock-off video game. That’s not all there is though the movie is literally stoked end to end with memorable scenes. Try and keep a straight face in any scene between Hart and Sherri Shepard, just try it!
I don’t think this closing paragraph is really necessary, my point’s been made pretty clearly, I definitely recommend seeing this flick. Are there things in it that people can nit pick? Sure, it’s predictable, the bad guys are all straight from central casting and the action scenes lack originality but to be perfectly honest, none of that matters in the context of a movie that sets out to make you laugh and does just that for 90 minutes. You can bet that I’ll be in line when Ride Along 3: Paternity Leave comes out.