REVIEW: Ride Along

21 03 2015

If anyone ever wanted to know what a mash-up of “Training Day” and “Monster-in-Law” would look like, “Ride Along” exists for their viewing pleasure.  Ice Cube stars as Office James Payton, an elder statesman trying to scare away a potential spouse for a loved, protected younger sister.  In order to vet his potential brother-in-law, Kevin Hart’s pint-sized Ben Barber, James gives him a taste of a day defending the law.

Their antics are nothing particularly noteworthy or hilarious.  “Ride Along”is a film of mild ambitions that results in only the most modest of payoffs.  The irony of featuring Ice Cube, the rapper who famously sang expletives at the police, playing a law enforcement officer has already been mined by “21 Jump Street.”

The film is only worth watching for Hart, who does his best to elevate all of his scenes.  The now seemingly ubiquitous star is a fun-sized Chris Rock with the falsetto of Chris Tucker, and the burst of energy he brings to “Ride Along” makes him rather endearing. Perhaps I sympathize with him innately, since I reside at the lower end of the height spectrum myself.

Personal feelings aside, Hart gets a nice showcase out of an otherwise forgettable film.  I might rewatch “Ride Along” if it happens to be on cable while I get my oil changed, but I doubt the scenario ever occurs where I’ll voluntarily rewatch this mediocre comedy. C+2stars

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