Movie review of “Ride Along 2”: Ice Cube and Kevin Hart can’t rekindle the comedic adequacy of “Ride Along.” Rating: 1.5 stars out of 4.
Well, you knew this had to be coming. “Ride Along” was a hit in early 2014, coasting on the agreeable chemistry of stars Ice Cube and Kevin Hart as, respectively, a no-nonsense cop and a motor-mouthed cop wannabe. Now they’re back in “Ride Along 2,” with Cube’s long-suffering James having made peace, more or less, with Hart’s eager Ben — and with the fact that Ben’s about to marry James’ sister Angela (Tika Sumpter). Ben’s now a cop, and he’s eager to insert himself into James’ latest case, involving a Miami drug ring and a hacker and a rich guy and …
Sorry, I nodded off there for a minute; “Ride Along 2,” despite the best efforts of Cube and Hart, is very, very dull. Were the screenwriters hoping Hart would improvise the jokes as he went along? Or thinking that fond memories of “Miami Vice” would guide the audience through? Or maybe they didn’t write a screenplay at all, but just patched together dialogue from every buddy-cop and/or drug-ring movie ever made, leaving out the good parts?
Hart has a bit of fun as Ben gamely tries to get James to go along with their team nickname — “The Brothers-in-Law!,” with the exclamation point audible — and Cube again demonstrates he’s a master of exasperated deadpan, but the rest of the cast flails (particularly Olivia Munn as a fellow cop, who seems to have confused “unflappable” with “robotic”). Even Ben’s video-game buddy Assface (Erin Goins) from the first film, has little to do — a terrible waste, as his name is one of the movie’s funnier bits. Come back, Assface; this movie needs you.
Movie Review ★½
‘Ride Along 2,’ with Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, Ken Jeong, Benjamin Bratt, Olivia Munn, Bruce McGill, Tika Sumpter, Sherri Shepherd, Erin Goins. Directed by Tim Story, from a screenplay by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi. 102 minutes Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence, sexual content, language and some drug material. Several theaters.