The Review: It seems all genres are racing to get out their flagship movies this month – curiously enough, it seems some of the movie studios might have incorrectly hedged their bets on what the punters want to see. Movie theatres are pulling some of the big Oscar contenders to make way for unexpected demand in the form of Lone Survivor and – now – this silly little buddy cop comedy Ride Along, starring Kevin Hart and Ice Cube.
On paper, I guess this seems like a sure fire hit; the world-weary experienced cop having a screaming, effeminate little bitch (Hart) tag along with him for a day. Does this sound like Training Day? Of course it does. At least director Tim Story and his four writers know this and make several references to that picture in this one.
Happily, though, this is not Cop Out – there, the references may as well have been accompanied by a counter screen left within the first five minutes. As flimsy as the premise is, it works fairly well for the Saturday night crowd; Hart is a security guard who needs to prove to his brother-in-law-to-be that he’s got what it takes to join the force AND marry his sister. At first it’s a companionship built on annoyance, but as time goes on, the stakes rise; the faceless crime kingpin bad guy will make an appearance and it’ll all be thanks to the hapless moron who’s tagging along. If it was a white cast, it’d make absolutely naff-all difference.
Naturally, the films narrative punches are entirely forced and the end will be seen a mile off by anyone who’s seen – well, any movie, ever.
So, plot spoilers be damned, the question must be asked: is this a film worth seeing? Depends who you are. If you think you’d be passively diverted by 90 minute Lethal Weaponry with a light sprinkling of ‘street’ then this could well be the movie for you. Me? Well, I have a rather extensive movie collection at home I could revisit where this shit is done a hell of a lot better.
There are no surprises other than the fact that Kevin Hart makes quite an excellent annoying little prick. Closer inspection tells us that he’s in touch with his feminine side; a sort of contemporary Chris Tucker, if you will. Laurence Fishburne has gotten really old and fat. John Leguizamo has neither aged nor matured. Non-descript bad guys still look mean and fierce. Shadowy arms deals still take place.
In the middle of it all, a cutesy, annoying, little homosexual man in denial. I’m all for a modern spin on the familiar comedy cop routine, but the irony of the title “Ride Along” in view of all this is not lost on me. Don’t worry, I’m being facetious. I had a lot of time to think of that last one during the movie.
Reviewed By: Andrew MacKay
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