Ride Along 2 (2016)

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The Brothers In-Law Are Back
 Ride Along 2 is directed by Tim Story (Ride Along, Think Like A Man) and stars Ice Cube (21 Jump Street, Barbershop), Kevin Hart (The Wedding Ringer, Get Hard) and Olivia Munn (Magic Mike, Deliver Us From Evil). "As his wedding day approaches, Ben heads to Miami with his soon-to-be brother-in-law James to bring down a drug dealer who's supplying the dealers of Atlanta with product". I absolutely despised the first Ride Along - it was my second least favourite movie of 2014! - could this one be any worse?

Ride Along 2 was definitely a lot less annoying than the first film - I didn't finish it in a really bad mood and the film didn't stress me out. However, that doesn't mean that Ride Along 2 is a good movie because it is far from it. What I hated the most about the first film was the amount of screaming that Kevin Hart did - this film has received even more negative reviews but has less screeching so maybe some people enjoyed his screams? I am happy they are gone. Ride Along 2 could easily work better if it was more of a parody as the balance here of serious and comedy doesn't work well - films like Spy have been able to pull it off but films like Ride Along certainly do not. 

The story is a typical drug cartel kind of story which we are seeing in comedies all of the time - Hot Pursuit, We're The Millers, The Heat etc - I think this plot is becoming all too familiar and scriptwriters for comedies should surely be able to come up with some fresh material. As I briefly just mentioned, I think Ride Along could work really well as a Fast & Furious parody but I think the film tries to take itself too seriously which is never going to work when you have Kevin Hart in a leading role. Parodies have different criteria to fill than comedies in general - when we have far superior comedies being released like Spy and Trainwreck, it is hard to say that Ride Along 2 is a good film. 

Saying all of this, I am far more likely to watch Ride Along 2 again than I am the first film - it had far more likeable moments and was just an easy watch. The film does lack laughs though - I think I laughed about 3 or 4 times and basically all of the jokes fell flat in the cinema as no-one laughed out loud during the whole film - tough crowd! Ride Along 2 is a near harmless film until I came into realisation that it copies one of the key themes/jokes from 2014s The Interview about safety vests. I thought that this is very sloppy writing and it almost comes across that they thought 'no one was able to see The Interview so we'll just use that joke and people will think we used it first' - I lose a lot of respect for this film and the writers now I have noticed this. Some jokes that did stand out as effective however were when Hart hits his head on the fan (it's in the trailer though), when Hart pretends to be an African prince (it's in the trailer though) and when Hart sends the child back into his room - most of the good jokes are in the trailer so go to Youtube and you get the best parts of the film for free!

So the performances - Ice Cube and Kevin Hart have an interesting on-screen chemistry. Hart is like the annoying brother to Ice Cube's sensible older self. Their chemistry isn't bad and I would say that it is actually pretty good. Ice Cube doesn't really have much diversity as an actor and kind of plays himself in every film he is in but so does Kevin Hart so they kind of cancel each other out. I think Hart is still annoying in general but I am less frustrated by him after this film than I was after watching the first one. Something tells me thought that we won't be seeing this on-screen duo again as Hart has ditched Ice Cube for Dwayne Johnson for Central Intelligence which comes out this year - that film actually does seem promising but just another version of Ride Along. Olivia Munn doesn't really make much of an impression - she plays a really thinly written character and does the best she can.

I will briefly mention the editing - at times the lips are not in sync with the dialogue - this is just sloppy editing. If it was me making the film, I would make sure that everything was perfect before I sent it out for release. 

Ride Along 2 may not be as dislikable as the first film but that doesn't make it that much of a better film. Yes, the chemistry between Hart and Ice Cube is good but they both play themselves so not much effort goes into their performances. Both are only here for the pay-cheque, just like this film was only made for the money. The story is cliche and the laughs aren't really existent - Ride Along 2 is likeable but it just doesn't do what a comedy is supposed to do. On top of all of that, the film takes jokes from other films and has some moments that are edited terribly which just shows lazy film-making. It is unlikely that we will get a Ride Along 3 and I am very happy about that. 

2 STARS
D+

What did you think of RIDE ALONG 2? Out of either film, which one did you find more tolerable? - COMMENT BELOW

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