January releases in the UK tend to start off well - receiving the tail end of all the Award contenders - but, as the month progresses, we always get some truly bad films; Hollywood feels like the first month of the year is the best time to release their stinkers. Well, you know that it's clearly January when you're off to see films like Ride Along 2. Ouch. Here's my review.

Picking up around a year after the events of the first film, Ride Along 2 reunites us with rookie-policeman Ben (Kevin Hart) and hard-boiled detective James (Ice Cube). As Ben's wedding gifts approaches, his soon-to-be brother-in-law James whisks him off to Miami to follow up on a leaf he picked up, connected to a case revolving around bringing down the Miami drug-ring that's supplying all the dealers of Atlanta with product. On their trip, the boys come across May (Olivia Munn), a hardcore detective that owns the streets of Miami, who reluctantly agrees to assist the pair in their endeavours. When they discover that a wealthy, well-respected, local businessman, Antonio Pope (Benjamin Bratt) is heading up the South Florida drug trade, they must convince the local authorities of Pope's evil-doings and crimes before it's too late.
 
There's a saying that goes "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". It's a saying that so perfectly applies to the reasoning behind why we ever received Ride Along 2. The first film was not the best comedy ever but it was fine as a dumb, B-rate buddy-cop, popcorn flick and it made a lot of money at the box-office so, of course, a sequel was inevitable. And, expectedly, the film pretty much follows the rhythm and idea of the first film beat for beat. The first film wasn't exactly ground-breaking for its ingenuity but even the lack of creativity of that isn't quite as frustrating as the lack of ingenuity of the sequel. This is a very methodical film that simply follows the same formula used by its predecessor. It's a paint-by-numbers, boil in the bag cop comedy kind of idea going on here and it's just tedious and it's, ultimately, this laziness that lets the film down and shoots what could have potentially been a decent franchise down so quickly.
Ice Cube and Kevin Hart ara a likable, charismatic pair of actors that work well with one another. Their dynamic in the first film was great and the pair have such veritable chemistry but, again, it was just as it was the last time. It's a shame we don't get to see more development of their relationship and character dynamic here because both actors are great and the potential for where the story between Ben and James could have went is endless. Their acting is fine but their not given much to work with. New additions Olivia Munn and Ken Jeong are fine but, again, aren't given much to work with seeing as how lazy the script is and how one-dimensional all the characters aside from our main two are. But, seriously though, what is up with Munn and choosing bad comedies to star in? Her last role was in the atrocious Mortdecai and now she is in this. She's a talented actress and has much more ability than merely bad comedies. Let's hope her next couple of films are better - and, thankfully, they seem like they will be - so we can really see her talents put to good use.
 
We simply don't care enough about our characters though to really invest in anything that's going on, just because of how mawkish and poor the script for Ride Along 2 is. As a result, this also means that a lot of the jokes don't really hit and fall flat. For a comedy, this is surpsingly unfunny. A lot of the jokes just feel forced and don't really draw any laughs. There are one or two moments which made me chuckle but, unfortunately, these humorous moments are very sporadic and very few. It's not as bad another January comedy, Dirty Grandpa (which I just reviewed here), but it's certainly by no means a Big Lebowski. Sequels are always difficult to make, let alone comedy sequels, and this suffers all the same problems most do. The first went big so, instantly, studios are going to try cash in on that by making a sequel. However, it's no use if the film just doesn't work. It's just yet another unnecessary sequel, thereby letting Hollywood reach into our pockets and take our money because, since the original was succesful, we're all dumb enough to go and watch the follow-up. In the end, Ride Along 2 is a very wooden and dull film. It's boring and formulaic and the lack of ingenuity and humour makes this a really tedious watch. It's not a complete disaster but it's certainly not by any means a good film.

VERDICT:
Who wants to go on a second Ride Along with Kevin Hart and Ice Cube? Not me. Ride Along 2 is yet another awful, unnecessary Hollywood sequel.


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About the Author

Awais Irfan
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.

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