Film review: RIDE ALONG 2, from ‘Built For Speed’

Buddy cop comedy Ride Along was savaged by the media but it made a bundle at the box office and with cash registers speaking a lot louder than critics, Ride Along 2 was inevitable.

Two was previewed last week amid a fan frenzy as the film’s two stars, Ice Cube and Kevin Hart greeted their young admirers at Melbourne Central. Even the adoring youngsters, however, didn’t seem overly enthused by the end of this film.

With its tediously familiar tale of mismatched cops pursuing a rich sleaze-ball drug dealer while enduring abuse from their narrow-minded superiors, Ride Along 2 seems to have been recycled from bits of Beverly Hills Cop and Lethal Weapon. Compared with this film, though, Beverly Hills Cop and Lethal Weapon are masterpieces.

Here Detective James Peyton (Ice Cube) and eager newby cop Ben Barber (Kevin Hart) head to Miami to track down computer whiz, A.J. (Ken Jeong) who seems to have pilfered money from a drug lord. Working with stunning no-nonsense local cop Maya (Olivia Munn) their investigation sees them step on the toes of smug rich guy Antonio Pope (Benjamin Bratt) with predictable consequences.

Every scenario and gag in this film is telegraphed well in advanced and nothing here is designed to tax the audience’s neurons. Much of the movie is dedicated to scenes of half-naked Miami beach-goers gyrating to bad pimped-up rap music. The film is rarely funny although Ice Cube’s seething contempt for the irritating Ben is occasionally amusing.

Cube plays Detective Peyton the same way he has played every character in every film in which he has appeared…grumpy. Here the scowling Cube’s ill-temper is understandable, though, as he has to endure the exhaustingly unfunny Hart. Elsewhere, a more restrained than usual Ken Jeong offers a couple of mildly funny observations while Munn provides a strong female character although she’s positioned as an all too obvious love interest for Cube.

With bloodless shootouts and minimal obscenities this film is suspiciously family friendly and about as street as The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

Ride Along 2 by no means plums the hellish depths of cinematic awfulness seen in Dirty Grandpa it’s just disappointingly bland and unfunny.

Nick’s rating: **.

Genre: Comedy.

Classification: M.

Director(s): Tim Story.

Release date:  18th February 2016.

Running time: 101 mins.

Reviewer: Nick Gardener can be heard on “Built For Speed” every Friday night from 8-10pm right here on 88.3 Southern FM.  Nick can also be heard on “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly Film Show” podcast.


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