Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Buddy cop movies…I don’t fully understand their appeal, but I could be in the minority there. Sure, there are some that I actually like (21 Jump Street), but most of them are usually not all that special…maybe okay, but thinking a buddy cop flick is really good is more of a rarity in my life. I was worried when I watched Ride Along because I didn’t even know it existed until Ice Cube showed up on The Tonight Show to promote it. Well, I mean I do sort of like Ice Cube, and Kevin Hart has his moments…so why not? Well to make a long story short…meh.
Ride Along is about these two guys, James Payton (Ice Cube) and Ben Barber (Kevin Hart) who are into law enforcement. James, of course, is the cool cop with his slick black car, black suit, and sunglasses. Ben is more the rookie type that has no idea what he’s even doing, but has a good heart. When Ben gets accepted into the police academy, he decided he wanted to propose to his girlfriend, and ask James (her brother) for his blessing. James decides to prove his worth, Ben must be taken on a ride along. He’ll throw a bunch of annoying cases on Ben’s lap and force him to quit. All of that changes, however, when the crime lord in the city shows his face and two heads are better than one.
I don’t know, you guys. I kept watching, I understood everything, I knew the messages it was trying to get across, and I could tell when all of the jokes were told, but I just didn’t click with anything. Some of the jokes were okay, but the rest were really mediocre, the heartfelt moments weren’t touching, and you just can’t find yourself caring about the characters. Even when it comes down to the two most important characters, you just can’t help but think that you don’t care…because you don’t. Look, I hate to say it, but there’s nothing special about this flick at all. You ask yourself what separates it from the rest, and you’re most likely going to end up dazed because you can’t answer the question.
I was hoping for different. The cast is made up of a decent assortment of names that you’ll recognize. None have really had mind-blowing performances in the past, but almost all have shown their potential in some form or another in the past…I don’t know, it just feels like a lot of wasted potential. Then again, it might have been doomed to begin with. Buddy cop films are becoming more and more transparent as time flies by. Successful buddy cop films are rare. I’ve seen so many in my life, but the good ones I can probably count on one hand. What it needed for success was simply some good comedic writing, and let’s be honest…we’ve seen so much better writing that this film is immediately dropped in the “Once is Enough” bucket.
I don’t mean to be mean to the people who worked hard on the movie. I mean, I can kinda tell the actors were trying their best, I can tell that the visual stuff like titles and explosions were made pretty well, but as an overall project, it’s just not enough. I’m confused as to why there’s already a sequel in the works though…I mean come on.
Ride Along has it’s positives, like the fact that some jokes were mildly amusing. You can follow the film pretty closely, and there’s quite a few recognizable faces along the way
You’re going to be fighting the urge to say “Who cares” after a while. There’s simply nothing special about this film, and most of the jokes are flat.
Ben: [breaks up a fight] Hey! You’re white, you’re white! You don’t fight!