Ben (Kevin Hart) is a security guard at a high school, who is in the process of trying to get into the police academy, so he can woo his would-be fiancée Angela (Tika Sumpter), and also impress his potential future brother-in-law James (Ice Cube), who already happens to be a tough-as-nails cop. Seeing this as a chance to get Ben both out of his precinct and his sister’s life, James brings him along on a ride-along for the day, where they sort of accidentally end up falling face first into a massive case.
So let’s get the important stuff out of the way first: This movie isn’t funny. A lot of that comes down to the fact that there aren’t many jokes, and the few that there are tend not to be humorous. That’s not to say you won’t smirk or titter at one or two of the lines, but by and large, this is a comedic exodus, a barren wasteland of laughter. But mostly, the movie’s inherent unfunniness comes down to Kevin Hart, who is clearly trying to fill the slot vacated by Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock, but instead he turns out to be even more irritating than Martin Lawrence and Chris Tucker combined.
Ice Cube gives good stern-face, but then he’s been stuck in that gear since Friday (the movie, not the day), and even his intimidation game runs a little thin by movie’s end. Elsewhere, the plot is based on a series of accidents and serendipitous happenstances, almost as if the movie’s makers were laughing incredulously in our faces: “Can you believe this is happening?” Answer: No, frankly, we can’t.
In fact, one of the few faint glimmers of light in the movie - aside from one almost funny scene in strip-club - is the arrival of the movie’s big baddie, a man “who kills anyone who has seen his face”. But even that is handled poorly, as anyone awake during the opening credits will notice the famous actor’s name pop up, and know from the get-go who it is.
Lazy, unoriginal and, most crucially of all, painfully unfunny, except for the joke where it’s made so much money in America that Ride Along 2 is already in pre-production. That’s a good one, America. LOL!