Cop comedy drives nowhere

Car chases, explosions and comical antics combine to create an entertaining, but dull and predictable plot to the movie “Ride Along.” Directed by Tim Story and starring Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, Tika Sumpter and John Leguizamo, “Ride Along” hit theaters on Jan. 17.

Viewers will have a few laughs at the loud, ridiculous commentary and interactions between a school security guard, Ben Barber (Kevin Hart) and an Atlanta Police Department detective, James Payton (Ice Cube).

In “Ride Along,” Ben needs to obtain the blessing from girlfriend Angela Payton’s (Tika Sumpter) older brother James before he can marry her. Ben was just accepted into the Atlanta Police Academy, but the 5-foot-4 “smurf” is initially not acceptable to James.

James, as an older brother, hoped his sister would be interested in a man that is athletic, tall and successful — unlike Ben. However, Ben persists, trying to prove himself worthy of Angela’s hand in marriage and even joins James on a long police patrol of Atlanta to do so. Punches, bullets and strong language add to a 24-hour shift that has chasing a notorious criminal named Omar.

The ultimate entertainment in this movie arises from Hart’s hilarious lines, which are not only loud, but actually amusing. As a comedian who has thousands of people come to see his shows, Hart can make viewers smile as he acts as a comic engine even when most of the scenes in the movie are predictable. Hart’s character, Ben, is someone who will talk big, but when it comes to taking action, he steps away. However, he continues to jump into dangerous situations, which makes for an entertaining performance.

Even with some comical and enjoyable scenes, the overall plot is conventional and unoriginal. The tense relationship between two mismatched characters transforms to a thrilling and positive chemistry. The predictable “buddy cop” dynamic is similar contemporary films such as “The Heat” in which Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy’s interactions as diverse cops provide for funny performances.

So, if viewers are looking for another buddy cop movie, then “Ride Along” provides for simple laughs. Yet, without any fresh material, it’s not exactly a must-see movie of the year.

Nisha Desai can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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