REVIEW — “Ride Along 2”
Kicking off the first installment of Two Minute Warning – a column reserved entirely for bad movies, featuring reviews you can read in two minutes – is the misaligned Ride Along 2, follow up to 2014’s Kevin Hart and Ice Cube team up, Ride Along.
Rookie cop Ben Barber (Hart) hopes to win the approval of detective James Payton (Cube), so that he can be with his sister, Angela (Tika Sumpter). Having deemed the mismatched duo the “brothers in law,” Ben and James bicker as they take on a drug lord (Benjamin Bratt). The plot is as lazy as its title: slap a “2” at the end, add some new faces, and you have – in theory – a new movie. In reality, it’s more of the same: a follow up that’s more remake, or redo, than sequel.
Were it not for the chemistry of its leading co-stars, Ride Along 2 would be completely wasteful. Ride Along 2 didn’t need to reinvent the wheel and be anything more than the standard buddy cop action/comedy that we’ve seen countless times before – it just needed to be funny. Formulaic is fine if the jokes and comedic set ups are not only present, but comedic. An advertised comedy can get away with a lot – even a lazy, rehashed plot that simply copies and pastes from the original with a few additions that can pass the sequel off as “new” – if it brings the laughs and the fun. Ride Along 2 doesn’t.
There’s not enough here worth a trek and a costly visit to the movie theater. It’s not unlike rounding up the family for an expensive get together at the local Pizza Hut when you have a perfectly fine pair of frozen pizzas already in the freezer at home. Ride Along 2 doesn’t offer enough in the way of new jokes and material to make a theater visit worth it – the film is best reserved for its eventual Redbox release three months from now, or the subsequent airings on FX that will arrive come January 2017, where every inserted commercial break will come as a blessed reprieve.
The ruling on the field stands: Give Ride Along 2 a miss.