Ride Along (2014)

ridealong_2014_poster
Ride Along (2014)
  • Time: 99 min
  • Genre: Action | Comedy
  • Director: Tim Story
  • Cast: Kevin Hart, Ice Cube, Tika Sumpter

Storyline:

For the past two years, high-school security guard Ben (Kevin Hart) has been trying to show decorated APD detective James (Ice Cube) that he’s more than just a video-game junkie who’s unworthy of James’ sister, Angela (Tika Sumpter). When Ben finally gets accepted into the academy, he thinks he’s earned the seasoned policeman’s respect and asks for his blessing to marry Angela. Knowing that a ride along will demonstrate if Ben has what it takes to take care of his sister, James invites him on a shift designed to scare the hell out of the trainee. But when the wild night leads them to the most notorious criminal in the city, James will find that his new partner’s rapid-fire mouth is just as dangerous as the bullets speeding at it.

4 reviews

  • (Rating: 1 / 5)”Ride Along” was a box office success in the United States, ranking comfortably even during the second and third week of release (where usually crumble all productions after the opening week), but mostly critics devastated it. And this time, it appears they were not wrong: a well-known story, with familiar settings, with very little action (because it focuses on the dynamics of the two main characters) and known demands as Ice Cube intervening in the relationship her sister because her boyfriend is not the ideal guy. What authority does the brother to decide the future of this sister? (“Scarface” cliché) But this is not the fault of the film, the story is actually a thing to develop the comedy, one can notice it when the clues are discovered by coincidence. Everything is very stylized à la MTV (Rap music, action in slow motion with cuts), but that’s not the fault The problem is not that it is a silly comedy with bad jokes, after all a viewer can laugh at Jim Carrey comedies, or even “21 Jump Street” ( the movie, not the series) was sooooo funny. The problem of “Ride Along” is that it is astronomically arrogant in the comedy. The writers have written an exorbitant amount of dialogue to reach a particular point, which means that every protagonist draw a huge maze of words and jokes to reach a situation (to give a random example, Hart advises a boy should not join other bullies… but for that purpose he begins to tell a boring story of how the boy will be caught, will go to jail, the judge will ask if this boy want to go to the army, who will travel to Afghanistan………. such is the case in all scenes, eg in an attempt to arrest the motorcyclists) The characters talk a lot, too much; and nothing they say is very interesting. And if this is bad, the actors are terrible: Ice Cube repeats the same pattern of talking with exaggerated grimaces in his mouth, and Kevin Hart is a bully who does everything wrong and still goes to the same haughty attitude. Sometimes, there are glimpses of a decent film (when Hart emulates Omar, creating a slight tension), sometimes Ice Cube can act well. But these are only glimpses in a sea of ​​mediocrity, where neither the villain Laurence Fishburne gets a proper development and becomes vulgar and unsophisticated – See more at: http://reviewsandthecity.tumblr.com/post/75822851846/ride-along-film-review#sthash.gbWAiZim.dpuf

  • West: Ride Along 4/10- I was surprised when I saw the low reviews for this movie. Yes, it does not have the best plot and the buddy cop film genre has certainly been exhausted over the past few years, but it is hard not to like it. It is a comedy and I challenge someone not to laugh when you see this movie.

    This movie made a brilliant choice of having Kevin Hart, who plays Ben Barber, be a war video game fanatic who thinks because he is so good at Call of Duty that he is ready for the real thing. Then comes Ice Cube, he plays almost nearly the exact same role he did in 21 Jump Street, but this role works for him and he was funny enough for the film. The rest of the cast does there job. The only thing that really caught my attention as far as the cast goes was the surprising appearance of Laurence Fishburne who delivered a below average performance to be honest. In his defense, I believe that his role was casted poorly.

    The plot was awful to be honest but it is a comedy so no one was looking for an Oscar for this film. A lot of the things that they did in this movie seemed unrealistic but funny nonetheless.

    For full review and more, http://reviewsbywest.com/anchorman-the-legend-continues–ride-along.html

  • In 2012, Tim Story and Kevin Hart collaborated on the compulsively watchable, well casted Think Like A Man. Ride Along (the flick I’m reviewing) is their second stint so you’d think that said actor and director would successfully go two for two. Think again. This surprising, financially well off release, is an abomination of bad. You can tell just by the opening credits sequence, that “Ride” is an early front runner for worst film of 2014. Things open with a cheesy drug deal scene involving Ice Cube’s character going undercover. Then what culminates is a shootout between the good guys and the bad guys coupled with slow motion shots/freeze frames to announce everyone who worked on the vehicle (a technique that paints the remaining running time as a joke right off the bat).

    Filmed in a quick 35 day shoot, referencing the police drama Training Day (whatever), and containing very mediocre chemistry between the stars in a lame imitation from the buddy cop genre, Ride Along follows the challenged hyperbole Ben Barber (Kevin Hart). He wants to be a full fledged cop, wants to marry his girlfriend (Think Like a Man alum Tika Sumpter as Angela), and ultimately, yearns to be accepted into to the family by his girlfriend’s brother (James Payton played defensively and arrogantly by tough guy Ice Cube). Cube’s Payton, is a police detective and Barber’s girlfriend’s only other relative. In order for Barber to get Payton’s blessing to marry his sister, Barber has to accompany Payton on you guessed it, a “rriiddee along.” Without any character buildup and total disregard for the concept of logic (Cube’s character lets Hart’s character perform acts as though he were a real policeman when in fact he’s not reached that pinnacle yet. His only job is to observe and in the law enforcement world, his participation should never happen), things are set in motion. Eventually, Barber gets in deep and helps Payton infiltrate a master criminal (the nameless yet faceless “Omar”).

    Ride Along, as putrid as it is, touts itself as an action comedy. Well the action scenes are so incoherent and messy, you can’t tell who is shooting at who. Story, known for only directing the funny, is a novice here. He sets up car chases and gunfights that come off as vaguely pedestrian. Then there is the aspect of comedy and Ride Along provides almost no earned laughs (I might have chuckled once, that was it). This might sound redundant, but every amusing (or almost amusing) scene in this thing was included in the trailer. If you’ve seen said trailer but haven’t set foot in the theater, don’t worry, you aren’t missing much.

    Oh and I forgot about the actors and director for which I only fault because they agreed to sign up. Why would an upcoming hint of star talent (Hart) and a pretty respectable filmmaker (Story) be okay with the final cut of this ho hum garbage. Furthermore, why would Laurence Fishburne (who looks a little rough here) and John Leguizamo who are decent actors, decide to collect paychecks for something as mind numbingly stupid as this (they play thankless villains who spew inane dialogue and fade in and out of the proceedings). Then there’s Bruce McGill. He has always been an effective supporting player in a countless amount of flicks. Unfortunately, he really phones it in as the token angry/mad police chief. As for Ice Cube, it’s just another umpteenth January release for him (that’s never a good thing). You know things are bad when he decides to appear in anything that begins the new year (would you consider Are We There Yet and Torque to be classics? Me neither.).

    But let’s get back to star Kevin Hart. He was so reliably funny and off the wall in Think Like A Man, but has nothing of relevance to say in Ride Along. This script is cliched with clunky, flimsy dialogue that renders him unfunny for pretty much the whole thing. There is only one scene where he gives us a glimpse of why we love him so much as a comedic voice. He saves Ice Cube’s character by posing as a drug lord in order to help him escape. Everything else he does seems to be a letdown. I don’t think it’s all his fault because I know what he’s capable of. However, in this movie it’s hard to believe that his Ben Barber is able to have a job as a security guard at a high school, get into the police academy even though he can’t even fire a gun properly, and actually date a sophisticated woman considering that his character comes off as such a goofball nincompoop. Sadly, Hart’s misinterpreted persona and improvisational technique are painful to witness. He gets nothing juicy to bounce off of. He talks fast just like in any other movie. But here he just talks to be heard and you almost feel sorry for him (I put the blame on a combination of four screenwriters for this catastrophe).

    Now I never give a movie zero stars because I’ve heard how hard it is to make one. So I’ll give this thing a star and add a half star for effectively using the city of Atlanta as its go-to locale. I’ve lived in Atlanta and the urban landscape is pretty darn believable here. It doesn’t look like everything was filmed in a Hollywood studio (posing as the ATL) or Canada (where production costs are extremely low). But back to my angered, languished criticism. With grating, inept dialogue, characters and situations that aren’t believable or plausible, and good actors who play those characters and dent their reputations in the process, Ride Along is cinematic proof that Thanksgiving comes early in 2014. Translation: this movie is one big, giant turkey. It’s a “ride” you would never want to get on.

    Rating: 1.5 out of 4 stars

    Check out other reviews on my blog: http://www.viewsonfilm.com

  • The genre of buddy cop films has not seemed to wear down. There’s just something about two bickering officers of the law that get people laughing. This is not to say it works all the time because their have been various flunks that people stay away from. However, this doesn’t stop people from going if what’s put on screen either puts a different spin on the original concept or changes it up entirely. As for this rendition, the overall story suffers from the usual cop cliches but also manages to surpass them by adding in new things. Also, the biggest difference is that audiences got to see tough rapper Ice Cube pair up with comedy hit Kevin Hart living off the success of his latest comedic roles from two years prior.

    Written by Phil Hay & Matt Manfredi (Clash of the Titans (2010) & R.I.P.D. (2013)), Jason Mantzoukas and Greg Coolidge, the story follows Ben (Kevin Hart), a man who wants to step up his game and propose to his girlfriend Angela (Tika Sumpter). In order to do that though, Ben wants to get his thumbs up from Angela’s brother James (Ice Cube), a no games cop. So to get James’ approval, Ben joins the police academy. Nonetheless, this doesn’t win over James very easily but accepts him under one rule – shadow him for one day and he measures up, James will give Ben a go. As far as plots go, it’s a mix of ideas. Audiences all know the protective brother character and they are also familiar with the rookie going around with the seasoned cop. Have they ever been put together into one script? Maybe,…but as of recent memory it does not ring any bells. Yet outside of this, no other parts of the writing are that far out of the box. The script is filled with a number of cop genre cliches that viewers would be able to at least guess what might happen. Most of it is fairly predictable in that particular vein of story telling.

    Viewers should get fun out of watching Ice Cube and Kevin Hart exchange lines. The contrasts are not only physically noticeable but also through the attitudes each one has. Ice Cube is gruff and self contained, while Kevin Hart is light and attention grabbing. It’s even funnier when Hart attempts to be tough but can’t manage even getting past the simplest of tasks. I feel him, when you try and nothing seems to work, all because of how tall he is. The supporting cast also helps too. With appearances from John Leguizamo, Bryan Callen, Bruce McGill, Gary Owen and even Laurence Fishburne, the story doesn’t feel empty with a bunch of no name actors with any credibility. Laurence Fishburne looks like he enjoyed himself too considering how much older he is now and the limitations that come with it.

    The action and special effects looked good. There are shootouts but it’s not boring either. One of the reoccurring topics argued about between Hart and Cube’s characters was about playing video games and whether they help in real life. Although I can’t say for sure if what is presented could actually be legitimate or not, it still is funny to see. To watch Kevin Hart run around thinking the situation he’s in is like a Call of Duty multi-player, is comical. Meanwhile, Ice Cube’s reaction face is priceless. The special effects that go with these sequences nicely play off the timing for comedy and action. Whether it is Kevin Hart being blown away or Ice Cube packing some firepower, it is displayed professionally for viewing.

    Regrettably, there are more issues to come. One the areas that brings up certain questions are continuity errors. There are moments that get pretty tense and it entails people in trouble. Then out of nowhere, the certain individual is abruptly out of harms way without any explanation. How did that happen? On top of that is fairly uninteresting cinematography provided by Larry Blanford. Blanford was also the DP for Think Like a Man (2012), another Kevin Hart film but looked better. Instead, Blanford acquires a lot indoor shots. If this is cop film, why are there not as many outdoor arrests or scenes? The phrase “cleaning the streets” means being on the outside. As for music like many other Tim Story directed films, Christopher Lennertz composed the score. Unfortunately, Lennertz score is only effective in the comedy because that’s his forte. Lennertz does not compose for action films and that’s apparent because the action cues are not recognizable. However, even with these issues, the film is still a fun time to watch play out.

    It’s a concept that combines two familiar ideas and makes a somewhat new idea but it also contains a lot of elements that makes this cop film almost average. Thankfully, Ice Cube and Kevin Hart have enough chemistry through their comedy and the action scenes along with the supporting cast to make this a fun little comedy.

    Points Earned –> 6:10

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