Movie Review: Ride Along (2014)

Posted: June 23, 2014 in Comedy

ride along

Ben (Kevin Hart) is a high-school security guard who dreams of attending the police academy and joining the police force in Atlanta.  The closest Ben has ever gotten to a gun, however, is playing Tour of Duty at home.  Ben is in love with Angela (Tika Sumpter) and wants Angela’s brother, James, (Ice Cube) to give them his blessing to get married.  James, who is a cop on the Atlanta police force, has a better idea.  Take Ben on a ride along with him to show him how dangerous police work is. James is on a case tracking a gun-runner named Omar (Laurence Fishburne) who nobody has ever seen?  Does James find the elusive Omar, and does Ben help him or give up his dream of being a police officer?

Why does Hollywood keep churning out this derivative junk?  If you’ve seen Beverly Hills Cop, 48 Hours, Silver Streak, Rush Hour, or the Lethal Weapon movies, you have seen better versions of Ride Along.  Hollywood has taken a formula, the cop buddy movie, a formula that used to work, and watered it down into some messy amalgam of a threadbare story, some gun play, car chases, and explosions, typical Hollywood filler.  The formula worked primarily because Richard Pryor, Gene Wilder, Mel Gibson, Eddie Murphy and Jackie Chan are much more talented than Kevin Hart. And worst of all, it took five guys to write this inane drivel.

Kevin Hart didn’t make me laugh once, I’ve never seen any of his stand-up routines, but I hope for his sake, they are better than this horrid film.  Hey Kevin Hart, Chris Tucker called, he wants his career back.  You took all his short, screechy, annoying black guy roles away from him.  I’ve seen Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor do stand up and their movies did not even come close to capturing the genius of their stand-up.  I doubt if anyone is calling Kevin Hart’s comedy routines genius.  I know what Kevin Hart is doing, he’s making as many movies as he can, before somebody finds out how unfunny he is.  It worked for Tyler Perry, it will work for Kevin Hart.

Ice Cube plays what he always plays, the Angry Black Guy, complete with Scowl.™  John Leguizamo plays the token Latino, as if he’s sleepwalking. And Laurence Fishburne is throwing his career away for a buck.  Gone is the perfect elocution of the Matrix movies, replaced by some cheap Justin Timberlake blackcent that doesn’t suit Laurence Fishburne at all. To give the character street cred?  Come on!

Please save 100 minutes of your life, don’t watch this movie.

Ride Along.  A bumpy ride, at best.

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