The RIDE ALONG 2 sequel picks up about a year after our heroes' last adventure. Plans for a quick trip to Miami go bad. With the wedding upcoming, James reluctantly takes Ben with him to Miami to follow up on a lead connected to a drug ring case he's been trying to crack. In Miami, they meet Maya, a no-BS homicide detective who lets them know Miami is her turf. They also encounter AJ, a shady cocky computer hacker who reveals evidence that implicates a well-respected local businessman, the wealthy Antonio Pope. Pope harbors a vicious streak and rules South Florida's drug trade. If Ben and James can convince the authorities that Pope is a brutal crime boss they'll stop his spree. If they fail, well there may not be a wedding after all.
As his wedding day approaches, Ben heads to Miami with his soon-to-be brother-in-law James to bring down a drug dealer who's supplying the dealers of Atlanta with product.
Its predecessor made money, plenty of it. So for a sequel to be produced almost immediately after was inevitable, and the rushed duration of time spent creating this film clearly shows. Ben and James find themselves in Miami where intel of a drug ring leads them to investigate a respectable businessman, along with a homicide detective and hacker. I won't even lie to you, I had to look up the plot. Why? Because it was instantly forgettable. Scratch that, the whole film has been wiped from my memory. My C drive (that's Cranium Drive...heh heh) has been fragmented and abolished. I couldn't possibly replay, recite or reenact any scene from this film. Well, except the car chase that was stylised to look like 'Grand Theft Auto III', which makes no sense given the current generation game consoles and ruining a perfectly good car chase sequence with pixelated polygons. Hart and Cube's "comedy" has resorted to very loud shouting and screaming, where the former yet again didn't make me laugh once. Mind you, the whole film in its entirety made me feel dead inside. Munn actually did the best she could given the lacklustre material, and most certainly looked the part. The first ten minutes felt like a 'Fast & Furious' parody, given the inclusion of Gibson as well...which really left me confused. Is Ride Along 2 actually a spoof film disguised as an action comedy where it parodies all things wrong with franchise entertainment in every media industry!? No. It's just bad. The idyllic Miami environment was a welcomed change to any generic urban city, I mean there is a clubbing scene, plenty of floral attire and Hart eating hairy nachos on a picturesque beach. What more could one want! Yet, the forgettable plot and lack of humour resulted in a failed sequel. Wait...it's just dawned on me...this is very similar to '22 Jump Street' which also has Ice Cube. Coincidence? I think not! Anyway, no more please. I don't want to be watching a third one, like at all.
I am a Kevin Hart fan. Some comedians just have the innate ability to make you laugh, and I feel like he has that indescribable ability. My expectations were for low, like for every comedy sequel and I wanted to like this movie. But...
The audience expectations for a comedy sequel are so low it should be relatively straightforward for the screenwriter and director to satisfy us. The situation is perfectly setup for a studio / audience win win. Give us recycled jokes in a new setting, we laugh through a forgettable movie and studio makes bank. Unfortunately, in my opinion, Ride Along 2 falls prey to the usual sequel pitfalls and doesn't even give Kevin Hart room to maneuver.
The best parallel to a recent movie I can think of is The Hangover Part II. Part I was so funny, everyone was going to give Part II a watch, hoping it would top the first installment. Instead you got the sequel trap - recycled jokes (still can be funny), but the bigger budget distracted the director.
That encapsulates Ride Along 2. Unfortunately, the bigger budget means less time for Kevin Hart to be funny and more action scenes, which no one really cares about. Watching the movie, I felt like I had to impatiently wait during the usual foot chase / car chase / shootout scenes to get rewarded with a Kevin Hart joke.
We did not pay money to watch ice cube shoot at bad guys. We wanted to laugh at Kevin Hart. It is so frustrating because the formula for success is so easy to execute. Show us the beginning or ending of action scenes and give Kevin more time to play off the stone faced ice cube. Ice cube doesn't even need to act to play the straight cop, anyone could do it. But instead we get way too long action scenes, romantic ice cube subplot (which is so unrealistic it actually distracts the viewer and takes away from the movie) and less laughs.
If you are on a plane or want to put on a movie as you fall asleep, Ride Along 2 is the play. Don't waste time and money in the actual theater for this one. Another tired, witless and potentially lucrative attempt to spin an exhausted buddy-cop template into action-comedy gold. a5c7b9f00b
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