Ride Along – 2.5/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

ride alongRide Along – 2.5/5 – Buddy Cop movies; films that you will either love or loathe.  The reason for such a swing in favorability is caused by how the situation of the film flows.  Buddy cop movies stick to the same formula; two opposite people team up and must take down some external conflict. This formula can  overshadow the comical or other story elements introduced.  Even with this clashing of directional tone; there can always be something in that film worth enjoying.  Ride Along is a film that has a lot of the typical formulaic trends, but has enough to make it entertaining.

Premise: Fast-talking security guard, Ben, is forced to join his cop brother-in-law, James, on a 24-hour patrol.  Here, he must prove himself he is worthy not only to be a cop, but be part of the family.  From here, hilarity ensues as both these guys must work together to get through this outrageous night.

Playing the buddy cop duo in this film is:

Ice Cube as James Payton

Kevin Hart as Ben Barber

This combination of Ice Cube’s grit with Kevin Hart’s aloofness helps creates characters that are great as duo in this film.  When these two guys are together on screen; you feel their chemistry when they are either in some kind of awkward/comical situation or just general banter between them.  You believe their raw ‘dysfunction’ situation; which is drawn on the strong improvising charm from both.  Outside of the two being together, Kevin Hart is the one that stands out more when he is by himself in the film.  When the film focuses on his character (Ben Barber), he shows his comedic style within his other interactions. Here, when everything around him is generic, he carries these scenes.  His wits show, and the slickness of his jokes gives that value to his characters ‘aloof’ personality.  Ice Cube isn’t as strong as James Payton, but he does do decent in giving general ‘arrogant’ style cop on screen.  His individual scenes feel ‘robotic’ at times, but it is enough to be more than just one dimensional.  Outside of these two, the supporting cast does a terrible job in providing any kind of value to the comical or action parts of the film.  The acting ranges from generic to sloppy; as you feel them more strongly as plot devices then characters.  A lot of the times, it basically feels like they are just reciting words off note cards; just keeping the film moving along.  Some of the people that play in the supporting cast are John Leguizamo and Laurence Fishburne, to name a few.

The direction of this film is (as mentioned above) very linear and predictable.  Being a buddy cop film, this style of direction is expected; as you have sense of what is coming next.  The films strength comes less from this and more from its execution.   That execution relies on two things:

Comical hijinx

Over-the-top action sequences and scenes

Within this, a film can generate a lot of missteps in the situations and events that occur in the film.  This causes the film to come off as dull and cheesy.  In the beginning of this film, you find a lot of missteps.  In the beginning of this film, you find a lot of missteps.  In the beginning, we are introduced to both the main characters, as well as the plot point that brings them together to go on the ride along.  That situation is Ben wants to marry James’ sister, and wants his blessing.  To get that blessing, Ben must ‘prove’ his worth.  This is what leads to the film’s overall plot.  From here, the comical banter between that happens between the two generates the most laughs, but the other situations that happen during the ride along are massive missteps.  You see that these situations are setup for comedy, but they come off forced and stale.  A lot of the times, these situations are just rehashing of previous buddy cop films.  Along with the ‘hijinx’ situations, there is an underlining story of James’ 3 year investigation into a crime lord.  This secondary story is a force fed story, which causes the film to drag (even when it becomes a focal part in the second half of the film).  As We go on this roller coaster of highs and lows of situational humor and conflicting tones, you begin to see all the early film ‘hints’ begin to lead to these opposites becoming a real ‘team’, as they must bring down this crime lord.  Through this, you get a molding of the underlining story with the comical tone.  This brings cohesion that creates a film where the ‘over-the-top’ sequences and comedy becomes one, creating a real entertaining (even though predictable) buddy cop film.  As the story unfolds in this later half, you get a mix of adrenaline rush, situational humor, and slick one-liners that you wish you experienced throughout the whole part of the film.  Once the film hits its climax, you feel as if it was 30 minutes to long, but still are entertained with the ending and post scene credits.

Visuals are traditional to these kinds of film.  The camera usage is done with very general props used to create the ‘action’ sequences or cop style scenes.  The score helps adds a nice touch to the film, but nothing more than that.

Overall, Ride Along is a film that had a lot of comical situations, but just as many fragmented sections to cause the film to be dull and boring at times.  Kevin hart is comedic as always, but the rest of the cast is ho hum.  If you’re fan of buddy cop films or Kevin Hart, this is a film for you.  This film is worth a matinee, not worth the full price of admission.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *