Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
Here goes a movie for you… take a really hot comic, pair this hot comic in a buddy cop movie with a straight guy who isn't funny at all, basically playing an ambitious, tough, take no prisoners type cop, then throw in a villain that nobody's ever seen, at least until it's time to see him then wrap it all around a plot that is as thin as wax paper.  Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock in 'The Heat'?  Psyche your mind… because we're talking Kevin Hart and Ice Cube in 'Ride Along'.  The similarities between those two movies, and a hundred other movies… are shocking, at least in the fact they are both a showcase for the comedic talents of their stars, and the results are pretty much the same as well.

Ben (Hart) loves him some Angela (Tika Sumpter).  And he should love Angela because Angela is fine.  Super fine even.  The question that one would ask is that why would this super fine woman be equally in love with this tiny, crazy obnoxious, under employed young man whose passion is videogames?  Oh wait, it's a movie.  Now it makes it sense.  The problem with this love is Angela's hard core cop of a brother James (Cube) does not like Ben.  Not even a little bit, for mostly the reasons we already mentioned.  Ben, however, thinks has the inside track to earning James respect.  Ben has been admitted to the police academy and he will soon be a cop, just like James, but James doesn't think Ben has what it takes.  But if Ben can impress James, say like during a day long Ride Along, James will gladly give the couple their blessing.  Madcap shenanigans shall ensue.

Now if you've seen the trailer for 'Ride Along' you pretty much know what's going to happen as the trailer exposed the majority of the jokes in this movie.  In fact, the young lady sitting next to me in the theater was actually calling out the jokes, play by play style, as Kevin Hart was reciting them.  That was intensely annoying.  Anyway, James wants to embarrass and belittle Ben while on their ride along, Ben wants to show he's a big man... James wins. 
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All James really wants to do, outside of embarrassing Ben, is eventually bust big time mobster Omar, who nobody has ever seen, except for the picture of him when he was nine years old.  Why they have a picture of this cat when he was nine is anybody's best guess.  Another odd thing is that this picture of nine year old Omar looks just like Laurence Fishburne when Laurence Fishburne was in 'Cornbread, Earl and Me' back in 1974.  Go figure.

You know the routine.  Eventually these two men have to come together, set their differences aside and form some kind of bromance for the greater good.   A damsel in distress, shootouts, explosions and bro love will ensue.  Just like in 'The Heat'.  No damsel in distress in that one though.  Just some dude.

More than likely 'The Heat' and 'Ride Along' were being prepped for our local theaters at roughly the same time so it's not like the makers of one movie saw the other movie and decided to go that particular route.  Nope, it's just that the makers of both movies saw other movies and instead of making anything remotely fresh or new or inventive, they went with the tried and the true and the tired and these are the movies we got.

But guess what?  Tried and true and tired isn't necessarily a bad thing in this case, mainly because 'The Heat' had Melissa McCarthy and 'Ride Along' has Kevin Hart, and because of these wise inclusions both movies were really, really funny.  'Ride Along' might not have been quite as funny to me as it was to the lady sitting about ten seats in front me, as she was losing it in hysterical laughter so tough that I thought the usher was going to have call the paramedics, I mean I really wanted to see the movie that she was seeing, but it was funny nonetheless.

The narrative supporting Kevin Hart's genius was generally pointless, just a series of loosely connected events to allow Mr. Hart to freewheel his way through the movie, with breaks taken out in between the various events such as the occasional shootout or to show Tika Sumpter in her underwear, or Tika Sumpter's abnormally long legs or how well Tika Sumpter looks in a really tight tank top.  Director Tim Story's action sequences are functional, and the supporting performances were solid, and by solid we mean Ice Cube was required to snarl a lot, which we all know he can do since most of us have seen his Coors commercials, John Leguizamo was in this movie doing something, Laurence Fishburne was inspired for the three or four minutes he was in this movie and Tika Sumpter lounges in her underwear as well as anybody.  Ever.  This must be made clear.

What they need to do for the sequels for both movies is call it 'Ride Along with The Heat' and then drop Sandra and Cube, like have them both get killed in the first five minutes while on their honeymoon, which gets rid of our straight men, and see how Kevin and Melissa do on their own.  That probably wouldn't be much of a movie either, but I bet it would be funny.
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