Kevin Hart stars as Ben – a High School security guard who dreams of becoming a cop and likes to spend his free time playing video games. Yet, for reasons most of us could never fathom, he is dating a sexy, good-looking woman, Angela (Tika Sumpter), who can do so much better. Angela’s brother agrees.
That brother is James (Ice Cube), who happens to be a real detective who doesn’t always play by the rules and might be the toughest dude on the planet (and he sneers alot to let you know he’s tough). When Ben gets into the police academy and proposes marriage to Angela, he wants James to approve, and the detective decides he needs to put a major scare into the prospective fiancée.
James invites Ben to ride along with him for one day, and, if he can handle it, James will give his blessing. Of course, James is not interested in making it easy.
Will James scare Ben away forever?
I think we all know where this plot is heading, but Ride Along isn’t trying to shock and awe us. Director Tim Story and the four person writing team are content letting the movie be a completely formulaic predictable silly-fest.
Hart is doing everything he can get the audience to laugh, and often does due to his unmatched exuberance. Even when the material is not there, Hart puts enough energy and effort into it to make you giggle a little bit, and he shares a decent chemistry with Ice Cube.
They are the odd couple, and each knows his role. Ice Cube is growling and sneering like the toughest dude on the street and reacts with dismay, embarrassment and anger towards Hart’s goofiness and less than manly actions. Meanwhile, Hart finds ways to be a likable goofball, which gives us an understanding as to why James might be willing to put up with Ben and welcome him to the family. The two of them appear to be having fun, so we will.
Sadly, what could have been passable becomes a drag as the plot twists into a melodramatic direction that might have been designed to add some action and tension, but just delays the ending and extends Ride Along about 20 minutes longer than it needs to be.
Ride Along is rated PG-13 for sequences of violence, sexual content and brief strong language.