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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Ride Along 2 movie review: don’t get in this car

Ride Along 2 red light

Dubious police procedures, by-the-numbers buddy-cop-comedy shenanigans, and characters who hate one another, none of which is as fun as it sounds.
I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): cannot abide Kevin Hart

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

So Kevin Hart is basically the black Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Except he’s supposed to be an actual member of the Atlanta police department here, which is appalling. Ride Along 2 may not be working under the same disgusting premise as the first film — that Ice Cube’s cop is entitled to vet the man his sister is going to marry — but the idea that a clumsy doofus like Hart’s (Get Hard) Ben Barber would be entrusted with the public safety, not to mention a semiautomatic weapon, is a close second. This time, Detective James Payton (Ice Cube: 22 Jump Street) takes along Ben, a rookie still on probation from the academy, to do some sleuthing in Miami; this is but the first of numerous dubious police procedures. They are hunting down a hacker (Ken Jeong: The DUFF), who might be able to help with an Atlanta case, but they end up in the middle of something even bigger, or so the tedious, unfunny script insists; the lame, by-the-numbers buddy-cop-comedy shenanigans are so familiar you’ll swear you’ve seen them all before. Everyone hates everyone else, which could have comedic potential but you’d never know it here: James is still trying to get his sister (Tika Sumpter: What’s Your Number?) to see what a moron Ben is, even as she is putting the final preparations on the wedding, but it seems she already knows and insists on marrying him anyway, for reasons that make no sense except by the calculus of dumb movies like this one, which requires all stupid, unworthy male protagonists to end up with hot babes. (The joke may end up being on him, however: she’s a nasty bridezilla, which doesn’t bode well for the marriage.) Perhaps the least plausible thing in a movie crammed with idiocy? Ice Cube keeps threatening to shoot Kevin Hart in the face, and he never does.


red light half a star

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Ride Along 2 (2016)
US/Can release: Jan 15 2016
UK/Ire release: Jan 22 2016

MPAA: rated PG-13 for sequences of violence, sexual content, language and some drug material
BBFC: rated 12A (moderate violence, sex references, drug references)

viewed at a semipublic screening with an audience of critics and ordinary moviegoers

official site | IMDb | trailer
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes

If you’re tempted to post a comment that resembles anything on the film review comment bingo card, you might want to reconsider.

  • RogerBW

    He’s had small parts in one or two good films, but Ken Jeong’s name in the credits is definitely becoming a sign of cinematic garbage these days.

  • Jurgan

    And he was so good in Community…

  • Tonio Kruger

    He wasn’t that great. And whatever screen cred he earned there he has since burned off in the recent Dr. Ken sitcom. Not to mention this silly cookie commercial:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieBOZw22lBI

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