Ride Along 2 (2016)

Ride Along 2 poster.jpg
Ride Along Goes to Miami

Director: Tim Story
Running Time: 102 Minutes
Starring: Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, Ken Jeong, Benjamin Bratt, Olivia Munn, Bruce McGill, Tika Sumpter

The buddy cop film Ride Along proved to be a surprise hit with audiences, so it shouldn't be shocking another instalment has been released 2 years later. Considering it was a weak attempt at a comedy with poor performances, it should neither be a surprise how the sequel is more of the same.

With his wedding approaching, Ben (Kevin Hart) heads to Miami with soon to be brother-in-law James (Ice Cube). Their mission is to bring down respected businessman, and drug dealer, Antonio Pope (Benjamin Bratt).

One more, Ice Cube fails to be engaging, or even make any sort of an impression. Compared to that, Kevin Hart acts the opposite, making an impression by acting cartoonish beyond what's tolerable. There chemistry has some bright spots (a conversation about "Blentlemen" is somewhat notable here), but it feels like too little from a buddy cop picture.

Concerning James, you can't help but feel he's learnt nothing from the events of the first film. This is especially reflected in his relationship with Ben, as he constantly puts down his future brother-in-law in ways which feel repetitive of the first film. It's not as though Ben fares any better, as his whole arc lies in wanting to be respected. How does he prove himself over for the purposes of this recycled character arc? By causing wanton destruction willy nilly, which doesn't result in catastrophic death with the help of convenience and utter dumb luck.

As for the supporting cast, it's not as though anybody does better. Olivia Munn phones it in through a cool cop archetype, while Ken Jeong is a walking plot device, while sharing better chemistry with Kevin Hart than his co-star for the second time around. Benjamin Bratt portrays a bland villain, typically having a saintly name while looking good in the public eye.

Considering how many sequels are considered disappointing to their predecessors, it's decent that Ride Along 2 lives up to its own. Unfortunately, this means it too is a derivative slave to the formula that won't stick in your mind.

2 stars` photo 2stars.jpg