Ride Along Movie – It’s been a while since Tim Story has directed a comedy similar to his latest project, ‘Ride Along‘. In 2002, he directed ‘Barbershop’ – a film I enjoyed thoroughly that also starred Ice Cube. Mixing the character dichotomy of the ‘Friday’ movies (for which Ice Cube is particularly known) and the general premise of a buddy cop scenario like in ‘Training Day’ (a film fondly recalled in ‘Ride Along‘) Story’s latest collaboration with Ice Cube is standard fare when it comes to a police comedy. With the fast-talking hilarity of Ben (Kevin Hart) opposite the unshakable seriousness of James (Ice Cube), you’re presented with the standard odd-couple pairing of characters that must survive a precarious day of life-threatening events… and each other.
To prove himself to his future brother in law, James, Ben joins the police academy. James offers to take him on a ride along the next day… so that he can assess if Ben is man enough to marry his sister, Angela (Tika Sumpter). Timing couldn’t be worse as James has been hard at work, hunting down a mysterious criminal known by his henchmen only as Omar. The pair set out for the day, responding to code 126’s – a code that Ben later realizes was intended by James to annoy him to the point of no longer wanting to join the academy. But the day soon becomes far more serious as they discover that Omar may be working on a major weapons deal in town; and James needs to trust Ben in order to get through the day alive.
The chemistry between Ice Cube and Hart is spot on. Neither actor is a stranger to this type of comedy, thus making every line come across naturally. There’s not much to say for originality here – it’s one of those “if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all” movies. ‘Ride Along’ is, however, an enjoyable ride (haha) throughout the whole film. It’s fast-paced, taking place in only one day. And everyone can certainly relate to having that friend or family member or partner that just drives them crazy. There is also the inclusion of rather modern concepts, like the ridiculously cutesy text messages that we send back and forth between our significant others. Perhaps the most prominent modern tech involved in the film is Ben’s obsession with a first-person shooter video game that’s clearly modeled after ‘Call of Duty’ – a fact that gets brought up now and then as Ben is under the flawed impression that he understands combat just as well as James…. But his knowledge of guns is surprisingly extensive.
Expect nothing new in ‘Ride Along’. You can expect good laughs and a decently executed plot line with a few twists and some entertaining cameos…. that’s about it. If nothing else, perhaps just the fact that it’s an Ice Cube project is enough to plant your butt in the audience chair? Enjoy!