With Ride Along 2 out at the cinemas at the moment it seems like a good time to go back to the first film.
Many people were surprised to see that this film got a sequel because it didn’t go down with fans and critics as well as they might have hoped. But now looking back at the first film, is it worth watching and should you spend your hard earned money to go see the second?
Personally, I am a fan of Kevin Hart and think he is a fantastic stand up with a lot of enthusiasm and it does transfer over well to the big screen. His high energy presence does deserve praise and if you are a fan you will have fun with this film but the script really lets him and Ice Cube down. The basic plot has been done to death with the story being largely predictable and even the plot twists don’t add anything to the story and are forgotten about pretty much in the next scene. It is a typical buddy cop film but doesn’t do it anywhere near as well as other such as Rush Hour or Lethal Weapon.
Ice Cube and Kevin Hart do have good on screen chemistry and work well together and they do provide enough entertainment to watch the film. However, the supporting cast do let it down quite a lot as the rest don’t even seem like they want to be there, with John Leguizamo looking like he is sleepwalking through it and in Laurence Fishbourne’s case it felt like he was doing the role either as a favour for someone or needed a paycheck. Definitely a long way from his performance in The Matrix. But it doesn’t really matter as none of the extra characters or even the plot seem necessary, they should have just got the two main characters to do things round the city and play off each other rather than a ridiculous plot.
There is decent action and decent humour but it is a far from memorable film with very few quotable lines which is a problem for a comedy. But the biggest fault in the film was the lack of development between Ice Cube and his sister as they are supposed to be really close and Kevin Hart needs his permission to marry her. I can’t remember a scene that showed the love between the siblings and there was no real relationship on show.
Hart proves he can be a leading man in a comedy but in the long term it is definitely a forgettable film. It is certainly a one trick pony and it is all about Hart’s physical comedy and comedic timing but if you aren’t a fan you will hate this film. I wasn’t bored throughout and I did laugh so I didn’t regret watching it but I certainly wouldn’t go out of my way to watch it again or go and see the sequel.
6 out of 10.