Ride Along is about as close as you can get to being a cartoon without being animated. It’s a pretty exhaustive vehicle for funny man Kevin Hart, who can be very funny in smaller doses, but here expends all goodwill by the end of the second act by just never shutting up. Yet it’s still more tolerable than most Chris Tucker features. Hart plays Ben Barber, a high school security officer with big-time police aspirations, who wants to marry his girlfriend, Angela (Sumpter). However, he won’t get the blessing of her brother, tough guy cop James (Cube), until he proves himself worthy. How to do it? Have Ben tag along on a 24-hour ride along and show he can handle the streets.
The screenplay, credited to four writers and more than likely mostly improv’d by Hart, treads very familiar cop movie formulas. Hart and Cube both wring some laughs out of the material but they’re too few and far between. The closing showdown with the gang they’re after goes on forever, with Hart’s act having completely dried up even before then. Director Tim Story puts a competent visual polish on Ride Along, but it’s simply not funny or action-packed enough to warrant a recommendation.
Studio: Universal Pictures
Length: 100 Minutes
Rating: PG-13 for sequences of violence, sexual content and brief strong language.
Theatrical Release: January 17, 2014
Directed by: Tim Story
Written by: Greg Coolidge & Jason Mantzoukas & Phil Hay & Matt Manfredi
Cast: Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, John Leguizamo, Bruce McGill, Tika Sumpter