Director: Tim Story
Written by Greg Coolidge, Jason Mantzoukas, Phil Hay & Matt Manfredi
Release Date: 17 January 2014
Running Time: 99 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Editor’s Rating: 2.5 arbitrary rating system points out of four
So, this isn’t a terrible movie, but it’s certainly not a good one. To demonstrate what I mean, I’m going to break down the opening scene of the film and let you decide for yourself if you wish to see it. A word of forewarning, though. There is no way I can be completely impartial to this without it sounding soulless and dumb (well, moreso than usual), so please bear that in mind. Just please know that I have tried to drain all bias possible.
We open on Ice Cube’s character, Jack Payton, in a seedy back corner of somewhere, making an undercover deal for a forged US passport with a lieutenant of a big arms dealer / mob boss / drug dealer named Omar. Thing is, nobody’s ever seen Omar. This somehow makes him more powerful.
Anyway, the deal ends up with Jack supposedly being taken to Omar, even though no one knows what he looks like, but the whole thing goes south when someone texts the bad guy out of nowhere, squealing on The Cube. This of course, leads to a lot of breaking glass as the bad guy runs away. Now, I just want to clarify on how the setting changes throughout this scene: we go from seedy back room, to shady dock/market thing when they’re on route to Omar, to bright sunny Atlanta afternoon where people are enjoying brunch when the bad guy literally crashes through a window separating the “black market” from the regular market. He steals a BMW from the valet service, and Ice³, in hot pursuit, rejects his first offering from the valet, a Toyota Prius.
Alright, this is understandable. It’s not even a matter of his tough-guy persona that he tries so hard to perpetuate even when he’s doing risk-free schlock like Are We There Yet 2, but a matter of mechanics - there’s no way a tiny hybrid is going to catch a sweet sports car like that. So even though the clock is against him, he dismisses it in pure gangsta fashion and opts for the next option, a...
At this point, the author looked up from his notes, stared at the monitor for a moment that seemed much longer than it was, let out a long sigh, and resumed typing.
...A bright red dodge pick up truck with all the trimmings and a white racing stripe. This is the vehicle he chooses to race through the streets of Atlanta at lunchtime to catch a car that by now is already a mile in front of him.
The chase culminates in Cube (if I may call him Cube) riding through a wall of flames while the Beemer flips out and bails. Ice (if I may call him Ice) steps out of the still-flaming Dodge and holds a gun to his head and blurts out a one-liner. Then he puts on his sunglasses and The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” kicks up.
Pardon me for that last little indulgence. It doesn’t happen. It just felt right.
So, did that appeal to you? Then you’ll love Ride Along. The film does benefit quite a lot from having Kevin Hart in it. He’s not a perfect comic relief, but he does a well enough job for the movie he’s in. Though I do have to stress how ironic it is to have O'Shea Cube making fun of how Hart’s height when he’s only a few inches taller. And jeez, Señor Cube’s in his forties now, he might end up shrinking down to his level in a few years.
So if you’re ready for a mindless night of something that is certainly longer than a normal TV show, take a crack at Ride Along. It’s a movie.
**I saw this movie because it was on my DVR FOREVER and needed to get watched to clear up space for more Walking Dead episodes I never have time for. I was not compensated for this review in any way.**