Sunday, September 14, 2014

Netflix Mail Day Movie Review: "Ride Along" (2014)

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Movie"Ride Along"
Director: Tim Story
Year: 2014
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 39 minutes

A high school security guard named Ben Barber (Kevin Hart) loves his girlfriend Angela (Tika Sumpter), so much so that he would like to marry her once he gets in the police academy and becomes a cop. There is only one catch: he needs the blessing of her older brother, James (Ice Cube), who already is a cop in one of the tougher parts of town. It doesn't help that James isn't very fond of Ben, but he makes a deal with him anyways. James will take Ben on a ride along and show him what it's like to be a cop, and if Ben can prove his worth, James will give his blessing to Ben so he can marry Angela.

Kevin Hart brings his typical loud vexatious comedy driven by jokes about his short statue, racial humor, and every day slapstick. Ice Cube plays the hard-nosed straight man opposite Hart, but still gets in a couple laughs here and there. Ice Cube actually explained why he can play the straight man so easily with Hart in an interview with Conan O'Brien, and it turns out, he and we have something in common...We both find Kevin Hart more annoying than funny, so it didn't take much effort for Cube to appear perturbed at Hart's antics.

The plot itself is your basic mismatched buddy cop formula, even though one of the characters is not technically a cop. Take two polar opposite characters who dislike each other to start with, make them be forced to spend time together, give them a conflict they can only resolve by coming together, and in the end, mutual respect ensues. Whether this formula succeeds or fails fall directly on the backs of the two leading actors. They have to have chemistry with each other to be able to pull off something believable. It doesn't hurt if they already have an existing fan base either. We feel like Ice Cube and Kevin Hart had a good rapport with one another on and off screen, but the humor in this movie was just so-so and falls mostly flat. This, coupled with the basic plot and sub-par and absurd story makes it a relatively uninteresting film and definitely something we have seen in the past many times over and done better by other people. At least it was still better than "The Heat."

At some point, people are going to get tired of Kevin Hart, but this seems to be his year. Maybe next year people will realize he's not really all that funny, he's a bit of a one-trick pony, and is more obnoxious than humorous. Unfortunately, this movie made tons of money at the box offices and a sequel is already in the works. Drive it into the ground, why dontcha?

My Rating: 6/10
BigJ's Rating: 5/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 18%
Do we recommend this movie: Meh.

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