Posted January 17, 2014 by Daniel Hodgson in
As an action-comedy, Ride Along is hit-or-miss. There’s the occasional laugh, but most of the gags result in a mere chuckle, if that.
Take this scene where Ice Cube tells his underlings, “I’m the brains, you guys are the brawns.” “Brawns?” one asks. A long pause. “Brawns. Plural of brawn.” The other replies. Wow, that scene died.
Ice Cube plays James Payton, an Atlanta cop on the trail of the gangster Omar. It’s his personal mission in life to bring him in (for reasons that are never explained). John Leguizamo and Bryan Callen portray James’s brawns, as it were.
Kevin heart portrays Ben Barber, a high school security guard looking to join the police academy. He also happens to be engaged to James’s sister (Tika Sumpter), who wants James’s blessing. James gives Ben the opportunity to prove himself: spend the day with him as a ride-along.
Ben thinks he’s ready for the streets, seeing as how he plays a Call of Duty-esque game, and is accustomed to firearms…from his video game.
The story goes exactly where you think it’s going to go, so it goes without saying that Ride Along is predictable. Not that story is everything in a movie like this. Now, let me explain. One watches a Jackie Chan movie for kung-fu, a Marilyn Monroe movie just to look at her, and a Kevin Hart for the comedic performance.
On that level, the movie delivers…sort of. There’s a funny scene in which the tiny, screeching little man ends up playing bad cop to Ice Cube’s good cop. It’s a complete inversion of what you’d expect from these two actors, and for that reason, it’s fairly humorous. There’s another funny scene where Hart has to do a lot of posturing, but that’s all I can say without the spoiler police breaking down my door.
I call it an action-comedy–there is action, gunplay, but the explosions don’t make much of a bang. It’s an action film in the say way The Heat is an action film; both are much more interested in the comedic elements that getting any excitement out of the action scenes.
It’s lazy, but inoffensive, humorous but not hysterical. It’s a matinee or a rental, but certainly not worth an evening showing.