Starring: Kevin Hart, Ice Cube, Tika Sumpter
Director: Tim Story
Running Time: 100 mins
Ride Along is an American film about an ambitious detective wannabe who discovers his only way onto the force is to impress his girlfriend’s brother, who reluctantly agrees to take him on patrol around Atlanta.
This isn’t anything you’ve ever seen before, but Ride Along is first and foremost an entertaining buddy comedy. Thanks to two great central performances from Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, as well as light-hearted humour throughout, there’s a lot to enjoy in this film, even if its story is totally formulaic and uninteresting from start to finish.
Let’s start on the bright side, with the two central performances. Fortunately, this is one of Kevin Hart’s properly entertaining films. Sometimes, he can be shrill and irritating, but when he’s on top form like in Ride Along, he’s always a delight to watch, and his expert physical comedy at every moment is consistently enjoyable, and even though it is ridiculously stupid, it brought a smile to my face.
Meanwhile, Ice Cube, playing Kevin Hart’s reluctant partner, is great too. We’ve seen in countless recent comedies that his straight-talking, angry characters can be absolutely hilarious, and that’s just the case here, but what’s more is that his performance contrasts Hart’s so much that you get a brilliant back-and-forth between the two leads throughout, which is what makes the film a really fun watch.
The humour itself isn’t the best we’ve ever seen, and I wasn’t laughing out loud on a constant basis, but you get a lot of laughs out of the friction between Ice Cube and Kevin Hart, as well as a lot of simple enjoyment out of watching Kevin Hart fall over again and again and again. It’s no masterpiece, but it’s a very easy-going and enjoyable comedy throughout.
There is but one big issue with the film that prevents it from being a consistently entertaining film. Yes, it’s pretty funny, but the story is just awful. It’s a totally unoriginal buddy comedy plot from start to finish, there’s very little reason to care about the actual case that’s unfolding, and the action sequences just aren’t that engaging when the film isn’t trying to be funny, so it was very frustrating to see the film fall down so hard when it comes to the plot given that the comedy is so fun.
Overall, I enjoyed watching Ride Along. The story and action are pretty poor, and give you no reason to get engaged in this movie beyond a comedic level, but thanks to some great simple humour throughout, and brilliant chemistry between Ice Cube and Kevin Hart, there’s still a lot of fun to be had watching Ride Along, so that’s why it gets a 6.9 from me.