Ride Along (2014)
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Kevin Hart and Ice Cube star here, with Hart portraying Ben Barber, who's a rather diminutive high school security guard and expert video game player. He's in a loving relationship with Angela Payton (Tika Sumpter), who's very proud of Ben when he's accepted into the police academy.
However, her highly overprotective brother James, played by Ice Cube, is a Detective with the Atlanta Police Department, and he feels Ben is certainly not good enough for his sister. James is gruff, volatile, and a loner on the force, but he agrees to take Ben on a ride-along for a day of police work.
James' main intention though is to place Ben in one impossible situation after another, on the streets of Atlanta, so he can prove to Angela once and for all that Ben doesn't have what it takes and is really a "loser".
Finally, as Ben closes in on a major arms deal that's going down with a major crime-lord, named Omar (Laurence Fishburne), it all culminates in an overly long, absurd, and predictable finale.
All in all, the plot here just seemed to be a "one-trick pony", with the same theme being run over and over. Combined with the flat humor, I was glad when it was over.
Playing the comic relief in a pale yet obvious retread of 48 Hrs. and Training Day, Hart fully utilizes his short stature and body language to his strength. Being rather short, indeed shorter than his female co-star Tika Sumpter, Hart compensates by playing a man-child with a large inferiority complex. Constantly attempting to prove himself capable of something of value, he still cannot help but invoke his knowledge of childish things, mainly video games. He also cries in terror, jumps into his brother-in-law's arms and looks for acceptance at every turn. He is, in fact, a fully-grown imp. What is astonishing about him is how he uses this to carry the movie along. Scene after scene drags along with the obligatory sense of having been done countless times beforehand but it is Hart's sentimentality that shines beyond the dull narrative. Though his facial expressions are often overwrought, he is still capable of carrying scenes purely through his timing and understanding of comic development. At times, he sounds like he is improvising a stand-up bit. Other times, he seems to invoke the speed-demon, whirlish style of Eddie Murphy. No matter his tactic, he makes it count despite a lack of support.
Making things more frozen than necessary is Ice Cube, scrunching up his face in attempting to portray a hard-ass of a cop; one of those lone, righteous moralists who is willing to go against any and all authority in order to prove himself as being right all along about his case. Of course he is, but what is confusing is how the film seems to condemn his behavior as a loner, yet justifies his actions during the course of the story. It is never clear which side the movie falls on and it most likely does not matter. Truthfully, none of the characters or plot points seem necessary at all except to showcase the difference between Hart's ambitious high-school security guard trying to become an Atlanta policeman and Ice Cube's tough-as-nails detective on the hunt for the most ferocious kingpin in the city, so terrifying and imposing that no one has ever seen his face (You will guess who it is right away; the opening credits give it away).
The biggest fault in the screenplay is its lack of developing the relationship between the two key characters: Ice Cube and his sister. Supposedly, they are very close due to being raised in foster homes, leading to him playing over-protective daddy to her. The trouble is the writers never give them a scene for themselves. What kind of relationship did they have or have now? And how has it changed as they have gotten older? And, furthermore, what is Ice Cube's personal life? Does he have one? Clearly, these were not on the writers' or director's mind. The final priority seems to have been only to ensure Kevin Hart came out looking like a fine-bred, comedic leading man for years to come. In this, the movie has succeeded. However, the makers of the movie should not pat themselves on the back. Save that for Mr. Hart himself, the only saving grace in this entire tired, formulaic story.
Kevin Hart plays Ben, an eccentric man who wants to marry the love of his life, Angela (played by Tika Sumpter). Before he does, he seeks to get the blessing of her brother James (played by Ice Cube), a tough, loose cannon cop. In order to prove he's worthy of marrying James' sister, Ben must join James on a day on his job as an officer. Eventually, the two get wrapped up in a case neither of them were expecting.
As expected, the film plays out like a typical buddy-cop comedy: a cop teams up with someone he doesn't like or agree with and the two have to attempt to get along. While this basic plot line has indeed been done to death, this film makes the fortunate decision to skip out on many movie clichés. There is no third-act-breakup, no mopey montage, and no "you're off the case" or "you're fired" scene. While a lack of these clichés does hamper the conflict, it is quite refreshing to see them absent from the film. On the other hand, the script lends itself to other flaws. Several scenes seem to be included for the sole purpose of filling time (such as a random cameo by Jacob Latimore that amounts to nothing). Moreover, the story can be very predictable at time, even with a couple of random and nonsensical plot twists thrown in. Still though, there is a lot of good to this film.
The dialogue, while far from quotable, is consistently funny and is almost guaranteed to keep the theater laughing. The jokes are delivered on a regular basis and never stray too far into campy or mean-spirited territory. Unlike films like "Identity Thief" and "A Madea Christmas," the tone of the film never strays from a comedic romp and always keeps the laughs coming.
Kevin Hart's performance itself is arguably worth the price of admission. Hart's lines are delivered with the impression that he is enjoying making this movie, and his high-energy presence is sure to please his fans. If you are a fan of Kevin Hart, you will most likely enjoy his screen-presence and his great chemistry with Ice Cube even if you find the script to be lacking.
"Ride Along," may not go down as a comedic legend, but in my eyes, it is certainly worth checking out at least as a rental. The flawed script can indeed be overlooked by the gleeful dialogue and Kevin Hart's enthusiasm. I'd say give it a shot, it wouldn't hurt to check it out.
Ben is trying to win over his girlfriend's brother James, so James invites him on a 24 hour Ride Along patrol. Ben thinks it's to get to know him but James is really trying to scare him away.
Technically speaking the plot is about how Ben interferes while James tries to capture a leader of a crime syndicate Omar while on the ride along. Really the ride along is just excuse for insane situations to occur within that setting.
Long term this movie will probably be pretty forgettable. As a comedy it is consistently funny and reminiscent of old school improv riffs with the antagonizing eccentric and the straight man. Kevin Hart gets to be absolutely ridiculous, per the usual as Ben: running his mouth, acting a fool, letting self deprecating jokes happen at his expense. I'm a huge fan of the character Kevin Hart has created – while it is the same in every movie it is enjoyable in every movie. Ice Cube is a good polarity as James to Hart's Ben. His smile muscles might be broken. At times he might even be too serious detracting from the chemistry of the duo.
The situations these temporary partners get into are random and feel like filler but are funny comedy routines and I'm glad they are still in the film. In an ideal world the writers would've cleaned up the script for a more believable story. Despite this Ride Along is definitely worth the rental just for Hart's antics.
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No need to dwell on the story as the trailer pretty much describes it. Ultimately, if you like Kevin Hart you will more than likely enjoy this movie. I for one, am a huge fan and love his stand up. I also liked him in "Think Like A Man". His physical comedy as well as comedic timing are very good. I probably wouldn't have even seen this movie if he wasn't in it.
So a 6/10 is purely based on the fact that I wasn't bored throughout the film and I did laugh quite a bit, not extremely hard but enough to where I didn't regret seeing this in theaters. Like I said before, the main reason is Kevin Hart, if you're a fan of his see the movie. If you're not, skip it.
Why does Hollywood keep churning out this derivative junk? If you've seen Beverly Hills Cop, 48 Hours, Silver Streak, Rush Hour, or the Lethal Weapon movies, you have seen better versions of Ride Along. Hollywood has taken a formula, the cop buddy movie, a formula that used to work, and watered it down into some messy amalgam of a threadbare story, some gun play, car chases, and explosions, typical Hollywood filler. The formula worked primarily because Richard Pryor, Gene Wilder, Mel Gibson, Eddie Murphy and Jackie Chan are much more talented than Kevin Hart. And worst of all, it took five guys to write this inane drivel.
Kevin Hart didn't make me laugh once, I've never seen any of his stand- up routines, but I hope for his sake, they are better than this horrid film. Hey Kevin Hart, Chris Tucker called, he wants his career back. You took all his short, screechy, annoying black guy roles away from him. I've seen Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor do stand up and their movies did not even come close to capturing the genius of their stand- up. I doubt if anyone is calling Kevin Hart's comedy routines genius. I know what Kevin Hart is doing, he's making as many movies as he can, before somebody finds out how unfunny he is. It worked for Tyler Perry, it will work for Kevin Hart.
Ice Cube plays what he always plays, the Angry Black Guy, complete with Scowl. John Leguizamo plays the token Latino, as if he's sleepwalking. And Laurence Fishburne is throwing his career away for a buck. Gone is the perfect elocution of the Matrix movies, replaced by some cheap Justin Timberlake blackcent that doesn't suit Laurence Fishburne at all. To give the character street cred? Come on!
Please save 100 minutes of your life, don't watch this movie.
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Lighthearted, easily pleasing, simplistic, formulaic, yet sufficiently entertaining buddy-cop action comedy. What it lacks in memorable action, it makes up for in it's funny scenes and dialogues. Buddy-cop action comedies are never about great plot-lines. unexpected twists, and riveting direction; so we don;t expect "Ride Along" to be any different. But where it fails to enter the elite in its genre, is the apparent lack of memorable chemistry between Ice Cube and Kevin Hart.
Don't get me wrong, they are both affable in their respective roles and Kevin Hart is actually funny (even though he isn't in the same league as Eddie Murphy). But as the two main leads, they don't feed of each other and create that sizzling chemistry which elevated films like "48 Hrs.", "Lethal Weapon 1 & 2", "Midnight Run", "Beverly Hills Cop 1 & 2", "Hot Fuzz", "Rush Hour 1 & 2", City Heat", "Red Heat", "Dhoom 1 & 2", and "Last Action Hero" to certified classics.
Also, though the film has some decent action scenes, they are completely derived and none of the scenes stand out as fresh and long-lasting. What actually holds "Ride Along" together are the quirky and natural humor of Kevin Hart and the deadpan personality of Ice Cube. It's good and entertaining enough for passing time on a lazy afternoon.
Struggling every which way to get in the good graces of his girlfriend's brother, erstwhile police academy candidate Ben Barber (Hart) jumps at the chance to prove himself by accepting the challenge of riding shotgun for a day with vice detective James Payton (Ice Cube). Add Serbian gun runners, an underworld kingpin played by none other than Laurence Fishburne (Man Of Steel), and crooked cops as a subplot, and you have the makings of an interesting genre piece. In this case, more like just a piece.
Blame for this catastrophe lays at the feet of the screenwriters, all four of them. Why didn't they ask Kevin Hart (Real Husbands Of Hollywood), who right now is one of the funniest comedians working, to help with the script? Instead they come up with a hodgepodge of bits that aren't funny. One saving scene is when Barber pretends he is Omar (the Fishburne character). Tim Story (Fantastic Four, Think Like A Man) is a credible director, so who knows what he was thinking.
To be fair, Ride Along is not a complete waste of time. It's just unfortunate that with a cast the likes mentioned and John Leguizamo, the film failed to deliver. These actors deserved to be in a much better picture, not one that had potential. If you watch this movie, you"ll be taking a ride, but you might not like where you end up.
There isn't one thing in this action movie that hasn't been seen, heard, or done one thousand times before it. The characters are one note and predictable, and even when a supposed twist or turn comes into play, you can see it coming from miles away, thus there isn't really any suspenseful moments here, let alone any blood, guts, or cursing. And for these actors to tone it down in the form of adult humor and this action cop story to dial down its violence was a big mis-step. However, it was nice to see Hart carry a film, even if he was too over-the-top all the way through the movie. This proves Hart can be a leading man, and not the side kick he is used to playing, as he is the best thing about this motion picture.
It's the same story you've heard before - Ben Barber (Hart) is a funny and sweet man who has been accepted into the police academy in Atlanta and happens to be dating the beautiful Angela (Tika Sumpter), whose brother is James (Ice Cube), who seems to hate everyone and everything, and only concerned about catching bad guys by himself. Ben desperately wants James's approval, and James will give it to him if he agrees to 'Ride Along' with him for a day in the big bad police world. If you've seen the trailers, then you have seen most of the movie as Hart gets himself into some ridiculous situations and Ice Cube having to bail him out.
This paint-by-the-numbers script and its unsurprising characters bring down the entertainment value here in what could have been a much better film, or at least more fun. Once again cameos by John Leguizamo and Laurence Fishburne are completely underused here and the other supporting characters don't really offer anything to the table other than stereotypes such as the always angry police chief. There are a few laughs here and there, but nothing memorable, and they want to set this up for more sequels, but they have some serious re-sketching to do if that's the case.
When I say this movie was predictable, I mean it was predictable. I knew everything that was going to happen, even the exact lines that were going to be said. For me, it seemed like the director let Kevin Hart improv a lot of his lines but the ending result wasn't as funny as they thought it would. Even with Kevin's weird way of delivering his lines, it was just a miss for me. All the "funny" parts were in the trailer so it made the movie less enjoyable because when a particular scene would come up, you knew the funny punchline because it was in the trailer. Why studios do that? I have no clue? There are ways to advertise the movie without giving the whole plot away and all the good parts.
I will say that the initial plot was pretty interesting. The dynamic between Kevin and Ice Cube's character was pretty interesting but it definitely was no Rush Hour. I feel like the writers and producers are trying to go for another buddy cop franchise like Rush Hour, Lethal Weapon or Bad Boys but this movie doesn't even come close to it so I hope they don't go that route. I will admit that there are certain that I did laugh at because Kevin Hart has this subtle way of delivering lines and reacting to thing that a person might miss if you're not paying attention. So, yes, I did let out a little giggle but I didn't know if it was me actually laughing or forcing myself to laugh because I paid twelves dollars for this ticket.
Comedy is selective, so what might be hilarious to me, might not be funny to you and vice versa, so I can't really say it'll be a waste of time because we all interpret comedy differently. I just know for a fact that a lot of Kevin Hart fans will be very disappointed in this film but he's obviously trying to appeal to a broader audience which is okay. Because I'm a Kevin Hart fan, I will overlook this dull movie but Ice cube, a word of advice...just retire! By the way Tika Sumpter is beautiful and the small cameos from certain characters were personally enjoyable.
If it weren't for boredom striking i would never have went to see this film; so i have to blame my own inactivity. Of course as i have a Unlimited card and that was a decisive factor in me actually going; as i would rather watch paint being made, put in a tin, sealed, put in a truck, delivered, bought by a customer, who would then paint their walls, for me to then watch it dry....than pay 8 pounds to see this. I knew it was going to be bad, but within 5 minutes of this debacle I had to listen to Ice Cube spew out lines like "aw i'm gonna getcha now" as he pursues a criminal or "get out the way" as he drives on wrong side of the road. Wither it was being nonsensical or just Ice Cube's delivery it was awful throughout. "Friday" aside Ice Cube had done nothing worth watching in my opinion. The one and only interesting thing about him in those crazy eyebrows of his. They are fascinating...
Beside him is the man who is seemingly everywhere at the beginning of 2014; Kevin Hart. But wither you seen him doing his Live Comedy acts or saw him in "Grudge Match" then there is nothing left to see. This is what his acting consists of: acting like a child and squawking like a deranged crow. I admit every now and then he can bring out a chuckle in me, but thats it.
When i first seen the film advertised, with Ice Cube in the leather coat and sunglasses driving the muscle car it obviously screamed "Training Day". But even though they addressed that in the film, it still made me sick. "Training Day" is an exceptional film with amazing performances; this on the other hand is reproduced manure with 2 pigs rolling around in it.
You may be rewarded with 2....maybe even 3 laughs, but avoid at all costs is my advice.
I'm sure Ride Along will find its share of enthusiasts. It's an amiable comedy about an Atlanta police officer Ice Cube thinking that no one, but no one is good enough for his sister Tika Sumpter. Especially Kevin Hart who is a school security guard and is her current boyfriend. Hart is into video reality games and Ice Cube is going to give him a dose of reality.
Hence he invites him on a Ride Along for a day in his patrol car. A number of funny situations occur as Ice Cube leaves Hart out there on his own to deal with some interesting people. Looming over all of this is Ice Cube's quest to find arms dealer Laurence Fishburne known only as Omar and unknown even to his own crew.
Nothing special, but what confidence these producers have that Ride Along will find an audience. I'm sure it will.
I watched the trailer with trepidation. It contained a number of things I have trouble with. One is black US urban patois - as an aged white Brit, I often have trouble understanding it. And another was Kevin Hart as Ben. Not a performer I am familiar with, it was clear that his schtick included loudness, and crossing his eyes while making faces because that's funny. I suspected that I would dislike Mr Hart's performance.
But I'm not one to pre-judge, so I thought I would give it a chance. Guess what? I had trouble understanding a lot of the dialogue, and I hated the loud face-pulling antics of Mr Hart.
But fairly early on there was a bit where, as school security guard, he is talking to a student who is about to play hookey. This is quite a funny piece, and it also gave his character some substance - passion and empathy. And that was something I hadn't expected, and which surfaced quite frequently during the rest of the film.
Don't get me wrong, this is a completely cliché'd buddy-cop, fish-out-of-water formula comedy with absolutely no surprises whatsoever. But, within those limitations, I enjoyed it much more than I had expected to.
now I'm not saying you won't see the twist coming but comedy's IMO aren't for that anyway. but just the face that it was there was great.
This is probably Kevin Harts best script to date and it matched his comedy routine very well. as for ice cube he did a great job for who he is but I do feel that Dwayne 'the rock' Johnson would have been a better cast as he's much bigger and more intimidating then ice cube.
all and all though its worth the watch. just go into it with an open mind and remember that it is a comedy. don't compare it with like Shawshank or Braveheart or something like that.
The story behind it was decently constructed, so all in all a success in its genre.
Round-Up: You can tell throughout this movie that Ice Cube was giving his all. It's basically Kevin Hart with verbal diarrhoea and silly jokes. The director tried his best to give it a serious undertone with the whole mysterious baddie theme, but it just didn't work for me. The few action scenes wasn't that impressive, but watching Kevin Hart trying his best to become a cop, kept the film going and made it slightly interesting but predictable. I'm sure that they will release a sequel because of the success at the box office, but they really need to work on the script.
Budget: $24million Worldwide Gross: $153million
I recommend this movie to people who are into there comedies about a hot headed cop who takes his wannabe brother in-law on a ride along. 4/10
The whole movie was as imaginative as a cheap, without anything, burger.
Characters & Story
Ben (played by Kevin Hart) is a high school security guard with a love for shooting games, and with dreams of becoming a cop. He lives with his fiancée Angela (played by Tika Sumpter) and, from what it seems, they both are quite and love and are even at the point of planning to get married soon. Thing is, Angela's brother, and sort of father figure, James (played by Ice Cube) doesn't like Ben and this bothers Angela.
Leading to what is the meat of the film which deals with Ben proving himself not just worthy enough to be Angela's husband, but join James on Atlanta's police force. So, James gives him a chance by taking him on a ride along, filled with crimes which are all self-made, and along the way the James' current 2 year case against a crime under lord named Omar (played by Laurence Fishbourne) gains traction. Thus leading to an adventure in which originally James is just trying to get Ben out of his life, but ends up with Ben becoming more than he expected him to be.
In total, I at least got 45 laughs out of this movie and must say though Ice Cube and Kevin Hart pretty much play the same people, with slightly different backgrounds, in all of their productions, they do it so well. Kevin Hart playing a sort of man-child allows him to be a good counter- balance to Ice Cube's dead pan type character, but perhaps what is odd is that despite Ice Cube doing comedy films for longer than Hart has been a well-known name, he pretty much gets shadowed by Hart who consistently delivers from the start of the movie to the end. And what really drives Hart's performance home is that he works so well with anyone who he is in a scene with, that he makes them better in the process.
However, though the film itself is funny, the story itself is very basic. Don't expect anything which will set a new standard or make Ride Along stand out amongst the many buddy cop films made. James is as generic as they come and even his troubled childhood back-story sounds a bit like a cliché. But, to me the worst thing about this movie is the build to Omar. Now, don't get me wrong, Laurence Fishbourne makes a hell of a villain as Omar, but considering how mysterious Omar is setup and then he decides to not only show up to an arms deal, but then stick around after a warehouse blows up, and then other acts which require him to get his hands dirty, much less be visible, it is like they just changed the character in a snap and took him from this mysterious guy lurking in the shadows, to your generic villain trying to make the 10 o'clock news.
Overall: Worth Seeing
To me, Kevin Hart's style of comedy is really what saves this film for it would be mediocre without him. I say this because it seemed like the script was following a checklist and made sure to check everything needed without trying to be innovative at all, or at least try to put a unique spin on the buddy cop Action/ comedy. But, despite a tried and true story, this is definitely worth seeing, if just because it further substantiates the argument that Kevin Hart truly maybe one of the few comedians to come out during the last decade who deserves to be amongst the names Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence, in their prime, when it comes to a conversation about some of the greatest comedians.