The buddy cop movie has a fixed blueprint. For the most part, nobody ever drifts too far away from its patented design. Thus the road less traveled is rarely taken. And unfortunately, “Ride Along” decided to follow in the footsteps of those before it.
“Ride Along” follows the misadventures of Ben Barber (Kevin Hart), an aspiring police officer who’s stuck in limbo as a security officer trying to win hotshot Atlanta police detective James Payton’s (Ice Cube), blessing to marry his sister.
Hart carries this movie singlehandedly keeping it from crashing. Hart’s constant jokes, short-witted quips and hilarious physical outburst are the film’s foundation. Ice Cube maintains the same stony demeanor he’s known for in every role. On top of that, it’s extremely odd watching the former N.W.A. rapper wear a badge, but I guess things change.
The underlying plot has Ice Cube looking for a crime kingpin he’s been tracking for the past several years, that leads Hart and himself into one uncomfortable situation after another. Most of which are good for a chuckle or two. The odd couple of Hart and Ice Cube seem like a formula for laughs on paper, but on screen, it is a very different story. The jokes are slow-pitched, and Hart is the only one hitting them every time he walks up to the plate.
The uninspired plot predictably tropes along with flat acting from the featured roles that keep the movie from being what it could have been. “Ride Along” suffers from too many of the same problems found in most “buddy movies” to elevate it from the pack.
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