UK Release Date: 7th March 2014
Runtime: 100 minutes
Director: Tim Story
Writer: Greg Coolidge, Jason Mantzoukas, Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi
Starring: Kevin Hart, Ice Cube, Tika Sumpter, John Leguizamo, Laurence Fishburne
Synopsis: In order to impress his girlfriend’s aggressive brother, a young wannabe cop must go out on a day of action to prove his mettle.
Loud, crude comedies are pretty much the entire output of Hollywood’s “funny” people at the moment. When animated movies are pulling in the money and the plaudits, it seems like Hollywood thinks the solution is to make comedies louder and more annoying. On which note, Ride Along arrives in cinemas, starring Kevin Hart and Ice Cube.
Ben (Kevin Hart) is a wannabe cop, obsessed with violent video games and considering proposing to his girlfriend Angela (Tika Sumpter). Her brother James (Ice Cube) is a no-nonsense cop who doesn’t think Ben is worthy of his sister. Giving Ben the chance to prove himself, James offers him a day out on the beat.
Kevin Hart is one of the most annoying men in the world. Everyone knows that. With that in mind, it is very difficult to understand why anyone thought it was sensible to cast him as the nominal lead in a comedy movie. It’s even more bizarre to cast him alongside Ice Cube, whose talent is, at best, variable.
| "You’re white, you’re white! You don’t fight!"
It doesn’t help that Ride Along is a wit-free zone. It doesn’t have a funny bone anywhere in its script, relying mostly on lazy innuendos and Hart squeaking his lines in the hope that it will make them funnier.
That said, it doesn’t deserve the kicking that it has been getting from other critics. That’s not because Ride Along is a good film, but simply because it’s far too boring to hate.
It doesn’t take any risks or attempt to do anything original and the best way to make it go away is not to eviscerate it in one-star broadsheet reviews, but rather to meet it with a shrug.
Ride Along isn’t fun, or interesting, or worth any of anyone’s time, but neither is it the biggest cinematic crime of the year so far. Of course, there’s already a sequel in the pipeline.
Pop or Poop?
American comedy films seem to become lazier and lazier by the year, and Ride Along is living proof of the idea that absolutely any film can be successful in the market of diminished expectations.
Hart squeaks. Ice Cube grunts. Guns fire. No-one laughs. Rinse and repeat for an hour and a half. It’s not exactly Citizen Kane, is it?
Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments section.