Ride Along


Release: Friday, January 17, 2014


It’s official. Kevin Hart is the black Chris Farley. Er, well. . .he’s certainly trying.

His new comedy vehicle sees him performing at a spasmodic level not seen since cocaine was readily available in the 80s. I mean, damn dude, someone give this guy a beta blocker before he strokes out! Bless his little fast-beating heart, he is more than welcome to try and imitate the great SNL star, just as long as he makes a promise to not go out in the same way as Farley. . .

The jokester, standing all of five-foot-four, is a storm of energy and quick wit in Ride Along, and while the laughs he extracts from audiences may not quite approach the painful levels of his Philadelphian peers like Dave Chapelle or Eddie Murphy, he turns this incredibly bland buddy-cop adventure into an enjoyable piece of popcorn entertainment. There’s not much to chatter about excitedly afterwards, yet for the lack of creativity on display there’s no harm done in the process. Unless, of course, you take exception to the mental images of Kevin Hart and his black hammer. Ew.

Ben (Hart) is waiting for the right moment to ask James (Ice Cube) for his blessing in taking his sister’s hand in marriage. The two haven’t exactly been getting along ever since Ben apparently damn near barbecued his potential brother-in-law alive at a family gathering awhile back. But because he failed to melt Ice Cube’s cold heart over a charcoal grill, Ben sets out on a mission to prove himself worthy of James’ respect. So he enrolls in the Atlanta police academy, with the goal of becoming a lieutenant on his horizon.

Oh man, can you imagine?

One thing that actually isn’t difficult to imagine is the fact that the camera gravitates toward Hart for most of the duration, despite some other big names present as well, such as Laurence Fishburne, John Leguizamo, Bruce McGill and, yes, the aforementioned Barbershop star. Because James reluctantly agrees to take this obnoxious motor-mouth on a “ride along” with him, Ben finds all sorts of ways to become an obstacle more than a useful partner, and more importantly, a man worthy of Angela (Tika Sumpter)’s love. James is attempting to track down the whereabouts of a notorious criminal named Omar (Fishburne), much to the annoyance of his superior, Lt. Brooks (McGill), who doesn’t approve of this hot-shot officer’s renegade tactics. Wherever these two go, the camera can’t help but get stuck on Hart’s frenetic energy and perpetually rubberized facial expressions.

However, when it moves away from Hart and reveals other bits and pieces of this loosely-assembled plot, the problems stack up quicker than Hart’s feathery frame getting blown sideways against a wall at the firing range.

Ride Along simply insists on being a very brainless exercise as director Tim Story seems comfortable with his usual formula (you need not know much more than the fact he directed Fantastic Four and Think Like a Man to realize he’s a pretty uninspired filmmaker). In this case, he maps out the Atlanta area in a simplistic blueprint, leading us by the hand from point A to point B, tossing in jokes wherever and whenever possible. As it so happens, this is arguably the only fault in Hart’s presence: at times he gets a bit irritating with the sheer number of his faux-Farley freakouts. The supporting roles barely are worth mentioning, although it is quite chuckle-worthy to see Morpheus talking all gangsta-like in his role as the big baddie.

Despite the film’s underachieving status, extra points are still going to be awarded here because Ride Along makes the best of the chemistry between Ice Cube and the world’s funniest short man. If that’s not enough for you to call shotgun on this joy ride, then. . .well, you can just ride in the backseat. Party pooper.


Legit gamer.

2-5Recommendation: Ride Along fails and it doesn’t. The audience it plays up to should be perfectly satisfied with the results — as evidenced by the drastic difference between critical and audience reviews on the big aggregate sites like RT and IMDb. Feel free to select this one if you’re keen on shutting down your brain, stuffing some popcorn down the hatch and laughing like a hyena at a few scenes featuring Hart doing his thing. Oh yeah, and there’s just a killer hot girl in it. The damsel in distress thing should really draw in a crowd. Boom.

Rated: PG-13

Running Time: 100 mins.

Quoted: “Thank you, ass-face.”

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Photo credits: http://www.impawards.com; http://www.imdb.com 

12 thoughts on “Ride Along

  1. Love your pie style scale man! It is not a movie I’d pay to see in theaters, but Kevin Hart is quite the laugh, and I do like Cube. Not for his acting, but for his presence and charisma. Just reviewed Grudge Match recently, and the only highlight of it was….yeah, you guessed it…Kevin Hart. Now, we can only hope that he starts picking better scripts! The buddy cop stories are unable to catch my interest these days…


    • Hey thanks a lot man. Thanks for the comments. I’ll have to check out your Grudge Match review soon, I’ve read some funny ones on that and how they specifically mention how that movie wasn’t very funny. . .but yeah, Kevin Hart is ridiculous man. I enjoyed him here. If he gets better scripts and better stars around him, he’d be quite good I’d say


      • My pleasure! I laughed at a few scenes, but no, overall, it is not. It is not a very good film at all. Hart still manages to impress and lighten up a dull film. His after credits scene is hilarious.

        Better stars would be fantastic. Imagine him and Jonah Hill teaming up!


  2. Reblogged this on Comedy Movie Reviews and commented:
    This is the first time I have seen Kevin Hart to fully play a theatrical project. He is known for successful shows and tours of stand-up comedy. Lots of it have really recorded millions in sales and really created a big buzz in the industry. All hope is up for his film together with veteran actor Ice Cube.


  3. Good review Tom. In all honesty, it wasn’t terrible, it just wasn’t all that great either. However, for somebody who is a fan of both Ice Cube and Kevin Hart when they’re obviously having fun, I couldn’t help but have somewhat of a good time.


    • Yeah that’s how I feel too. That’s funny how you dozed off in the middle, but i can understand that. It was a pretty slow-going affair when Hart wasn’t about to have a heart attack on camera. lol


    • haaha The Cube. Love it. Yeah, it’s not really deserving of an international release. But I’m glad I went to check it out all the same. Cheers man.


    • You won’t be missing much here James. It’s not a memorable one. 🙂 However I had fun creating the review for it.


    • hey thanks Mikey. He’s a pretty big spaz man, and an increasingly huge name in the U.S., mainly known for his stand-up acts. He was pretty funny here but he does have a tendency to become overbearing.


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