Blu-ray Review: Ride Along

So apparently Kevin Hart is supposed to be the next big comic, and he probably is, but for me Ride Along gave no indication of that at all.

Hart plays Ben Barber, a guy who is totally in love with his girlfriend Angela (Tika Sumpter) and likes playing video games. Angela’s brother James (Ice Cube) is a cop who thinks his sister can do way better. (And I think I agree with him.) In fact, the first major flaw of this movie is why would a woman like Angela be head over heels in love with a guy like Ben. It. Would. Never. Happen.

To win James over, Ben decides to prove himself as a man and become a cop. He succeeds in the first step by being accepted into the academy. But James still isn’t convinced. So James decides to invoke the title and invite Ben on a ride along to see if he really has what it takes to be a cop. Ben sees this as the perfect opportunity to win James over. James sees this as the perfect opportunity to mess with Ben and prove what a loser he is.

James proceeds to take Ben on a series of fake calls that he and his cop buddies (including John Leguizamo) set up to make Ben fail. However, things take a turn when they get caught up in a very real situation with some gun runners and well, I’m sure you can figure out the rest from here.

Kevin Hart makes this film very hard to watch. His character is super annoying and on a certain level he’s supposed to be so we can see him become the man that does deserve a woman like Angela, but frankly, I didn’t want to see Ben succeed.

Ice Cube basically plays Ice Cube. He’s got his tough guy act down pat and does it here perfectly. He’s not phoning it in, you can tell he’s having a lot of fun with the role, and maybe that’s why I was siding with him over Hart. I really wanted James to win this one.

The film was directed by Tim Story, who gave us such flops as Taxi and both Fantastic Four movies. Be it comedy or comic book action, he makes bad movies. There aren’t that many laughs to be had. I found myself chuckling a couple times, but a comedy like this should be wall to wall laughs and it was about as far from that as possible.

I’m sure there are hard core Kevin Hart fans out there that thought this film was hilarious, and good on them. Maybe I just don’t get his style of humor, because I found this to be the least funny film I’ve seen in a long time. I laughed harder watching Pompeii.

The film is presented in 2.40:1 and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. The film looks and sounds fine.

You get Alternate Ending (2 min.), Deleted Scenes (8 min.), Alternate Take (2 min.), Kev & Cuve’s Wild Ride (5 min.), You Gotta Learn Today (4 min.), Anatomy of the Big Blast (5 min.), An Explosive Ride (5 min.), Gag Reel (3 min.), It Was A Good Day – On The Set Of Ride Along (12 min.), Atlanta: The Character (3 min.) and Commentary with Tim Story. The deleted and alternate stuff and the gag reel aren’t that good, but all the behind the scenes stuff is pretty interesting. It definitely looks as if this was a very fun film to make.

I ended up enjoying the special features more than I enjoyed the film itself. While it looks like Ride Along was a joy to make, it wasn’t much of a joy to watch. Too bad that joy couldn’t translate to the screen. But hey, what do I know? Ride Along 2 has already been green lit.

Universal presents Ride Along. Written by: Greg Coolidge, Jason Mantzoukas, Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi. Directed by: Tim Story. Starring: Kevin Hart, Ice Cube, Tika Sumpter, John Leguizamo and Laurence Fishburne. Running time: 99 minutes. Rating: PG-13. Released: April 15, 2014.

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