(Photo Credit: Universal Pictures)
Not Up to Par with Original
The Kevin Hart-Will Packer-Tim Story trio has equaled Hollywood genius from day one.
From “Think Like a Man” to “Ride Along,” the aforementioned team created comedy hits that rivaled anything produced by Eddie Murphy, Chris Tucker or Richard Pryor in previous decades.
However, “Ride Along 2” seems to lack the originality of their other hits.
And while there are the usual LOL moments expected from a Hart hit, “Ride Along 2” seems too much like a combination of “Bad Boys II,” “Rush Hour 2,” “The Fast and the Furious” with elements of “The Wire” thrown in as well.
Ben Barber (Hart) has finally realized his dreams.
He is a police officer in Atlanta.
He is marrying the beautiful love of his life Angela (Tika Sumpter), despite the alarming height disparity.
But he is still finding it almost impossible to impress his future brother-in-law James (Ice Cube).
However, when a prominent Miami port commissioner is assassinated and James tracks a witness down to Miami, he reluctantly agrees to let Ben tag along.
James intends to prove once and for all that Ben does not have what it takes to make it as a detective, ending Ben’s plans for a partnership, called the brothers-in-law, for good.
The script for “Ride Along 2” has more substance than its predecessor, but not enough originality or comedy.
Hart is still hilarious, obviously, but some of his material seems rehashed.
Furthermore, too much of “Ride Along 2” is similar to films people have already seen before.
When James and Mayfield (Tyrese Gibson) go undercover in a street race scene, it appropriately looks like something from the “Fast and Furious” franchise.
Car chase scenes in Miami look too much like scenes made famous by Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in “Bad Boys II.”
The crookedness of United States ports is too similar to season two of “The Wire.”
And Ben and James teaming up with the beautiful Maya (Olivia Munn) is too similar to Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan teaming up with Roselyn Sanchez to fight crime in “Rush Hour 2.”
A.J. (Ken Jeong) is like John Salley’s computer geek character Fletcher in “Bad Boys II” but nowhere near as funny as he has been in movies like “The Hangover.”
“Ride Along 2” is an enjoyable film, but not very good compared with past Hart classics.
His pairing with Ice Cube in the first “Ride Along” was genius.
That buddy comedy seemed like a new age version of “Beverly Hills Cop.”
However, when you set the bar so high with past incredible work it is extremely difficult for future work to be up to par.
No matter how talented one is, everything that a person touches does not turn to gold critically.
Unfortunately, Hart, Packer and Story have run into a small speed bump in the road.
Nevertheless, their ride through Hollywood will be very long and they have plenty of time to pick up the speed again in the very near future.