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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Movie Review- Ride Along 2

Kevin Hart, Ken Jeong, and Ice Cube, try to find a way to be funny in, Ride Along 2


Intro

Kevin Hart is a funny dude. You can see the effort that he puts into every project, whether it be stand up or acting. The problem is however, that because he is the "it" comedian of the moment, he gets put into film projects that have little or no commitment to the actual art of comedy and/or filmmaking. His recent films like Get Hard, The Wedding Ringer, and of course, Ride Along, show plenty of proof. It's great that they want Kevin to be the next Eddie Murphy, but don't rush the process. He needs to pick better scripts with better writers, so that he has better movies that stand the test of time. But of course, he's making good money off of his mediocre films. So why should he try to stand up for any semblance of comedic integrity, when the way his bank account is set up, is to let it get larger with every misguided ticket purchased? Don't answer, it was rhetorical. We're all whores in our own special ways.

Ride Along 2

To give you an example of how greedy and impatient Hollywood can be, let me just say that the pre-production for Ride Along 2 started soon after the release of Part 1, and the principal photography ended two months later. Then the studio puts the film's release on hold for a year, so that Hart's other films (from other studios) don't clog up the system too much. I'm confused; They rush to get the sequel made, then they leave it on the shelf. Huh? Oh, I understand; The studios didn't want to release three shitty Kevin Hart films in one year (2015). Apparently two Hart films per year is all that the American public can tolerate. I didn't think that Hart could make a film worse than Ride Along but, I was wrong. Ride Along 2 is so bad ("How bad is it?!"), that it momentarily breaks down my protective bubble and makes me want to give Adam Sandler another chance. Thank God that the moment was fleeting. It's boring, uninspired, and most damagingly, NOT FUNNY!!! "Let's take the blockbuster winning duo of Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, repeat the same formula, and put'em in Miami, for some fish out of water hilarity!" No thank you. The absolute biggest problem with this movie is the writing. Look at both 21 & 22 Jump Street; Both hilariously written and performed. Sure Hart and Cube have chemistry, but we might as well be seeing them on YouTube as two start up guys who haven't grown into their characters yet. Whatever happened to the buddy cop action/comedies from the past like, the Lethal Weapon series, Bad Boys, or even Alien Nation? None of those were perfect, yet they damn sure have some great action, humor, and replay value.
Kevin Hart once again brings an admirable amount of energy to a role that seems better written for a Sesame Street puppet. He's like that little dog that keeps barking in between leg humping sessions to get your attention. I almost yelled, "Shut the hell up Kevin!", more than once. The guy is talented, yet I can't help but think that without a proper script, he gets lost in confusion like Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) with a faulty teleprompter. ***SPOILER ALERT*** Ice Cube is the same exact scowling asshole from part 1 without nearly a hint of character growth. He has a couple of honest moments that are however short lived. But don't worry, because instead of any kind of progression to his persona, we get what no one ever asked for; A female Miami counterpart that scowls just as good as he does (Olivia Munn from, Magic Mike). They can have each other. ***END OF FAKE SPOILER ALERT*** The only decent character at all is from Benjamin Bratt (Miss Congeniality) as the villain. Let me just say that his bad guy isn't great or even good. He's just more tolerable and charismatic than all others. No surprise here; The rest of the cast is a bunch of one wasted talent after another. Ken Jeong (The Hangover), Bruce McGill (Timecop), Tika Sumpter (Think Like a Man), and Tyrese Gibson (in a straight Fast & Furious knock off scene), fall victim to this film's inadequacies. There's no respect for the story, so why should there be any respect for them? 

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, of Ride Along 2

The Good- The car chase that turns into a videogame from Hart's perspective, is funny for a moment. Cube using Hart as a human shield. Too bad that that wasn't enough to shut him up.
The Bad- The overuse of playful music that accompanies every scene. If the movie was funny it would be fine, but instead it just makes things even worse.
The Ugly- I had two choices this week; Kevin Hart or Michael Bay (13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi). I think we all lost this time.

Final Thoughts

When a film makes me fall asleep and dream of my ex-wife, then leaves me feeling disappointed when I wake up from a nudge by my suffering podcast partner, you know it is not worth seeing. Ride Along 2 has zero originality that's made up by tired old cliches, and rip offs of much better fare. If this is where the buddy cop genre is heading, I'm out. Don't even waste your time watching the trailer. You'll never get that time back. I'm living proof. Now I need to go to a meeting. "Hi my name is Joe and I just watched the Ride Along sequel." "Hi Joe!"
Rating- 1.5 out of 10


Ride Along 2 (2016)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Comedy  |  15 January 2016 (USA)
Director: Tim Story  
Writers: Phil Hay , Matt ManfrediStars: Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, Tika Sumpter. Olivia Munn, Bruce McGill    

 


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