Hello Everyone, Janet W. here…
Following on the tails of the Ride Along, Ride Along 2 comes rollin’ in. Ben Barber (Kevin Hart) is finally a cop, straight out of the academy, and still seeking James Payton’s (Ice Cube) respect. Especially, since Ben is about to marry James’ sister, Angela. The buddy comedy continues, but lacks luster. Kevin Hart has his usual diarrhea mouth, but in this film, someone added 20 lbs. of ex-lax to his condition. Normally 8 out of 10 times, this endless train of ramblings can make your side split. However, in Ride Along 2 his batting average drops.
The dialogue either left you hanging or landing flat. I so enjoyed him as Cedric in Think Like a Man and as Brian in Death at a Funeral. Even one of my favorite Asian comedic actors, Ken Jeong, had some dry punch lines. He is capable of such better, odd roles. Hilarious ever since he played Mr. Chow in The Hangover and Jerry Wang in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Many holes and conflictions of character, does he or does he not have game with the ladies? Now I love myself some Benjamin Bratt, but Antonio Pope, the villain, was not the role for him. Pope was stupid (not in a comedic way either) and non-threatening. Every since I saw Bratt as Alfredo Garcia in Demolition Man to Eric Matthews in Miss Congeniality even his yumminess in Catwoman as Tom Lone, I’ve had an appreciation.
It was a nice surprise to see Yolanda Adams’ cameo as the preacher at Ben and Angela’s wedding. I would have loved some sort of dialogue/action from her besides her smiling and clapping. As a supporting role, I was disappointed in the role given to Olivia Munn (Maya Cruz). She is introduced as a strong, independent woman, but without explanation the tables are turned. I pondered where I had seen Munn before then I realized that she was Channing Tatum’s bisexual booty call (or was he hers?) in Magic Mike. I hope she will do justice to my most beloved X-men, Psylocke, when X-Men: Apocalypse comes out. A misuse of acting talent, too.
Directed by Tim Story, I’m shocked at the film’s production. I enjoyed his visions for Barbershop, Fantastic Four, 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Think Like a Man. I could follow and get lost in the story and action of those films. However in Ride Along 2, the poor plot structure, pyro timing, and weak/lame dialogue were so annoying. FYI, I didn’t see (not upset about that). Honestly, it was a poor attempt at Bad Boys and a wannabe of Michael Bay’s signature style.
It seemed an odd choice to use extended slow motion on opening credits, such a waste of cinematic technique. Ride Along 2 is very predictable. The film has a PG-13 rating, so it ok for the family, but there were a few camera angles I could have gone my whole life without seeing. Despite these poor choices, I must admit that my abdominal muscles were a little sore after the screening. If you want mindless, somewhat annoying comedy, you will enjoy Ride Along 2. I did enjoy “game mode,” if you watch it you will, too. In theaters now.
3 out of 5
Janet L. White