Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Review: Ride Along

World of Blackout Film Review

Ride Along Poster

Ride Along
Cert: 12A / 100 mins / Dir. Tim Story
WoB Rating: 4/7

There's a point, a few minutes into Ride Along, when hip, streetwise police officer, Ian Cube*1 calls on a hotel valet attendant get him a car to pursue an escaping gunman. The vehicle arrives speedily, within about a second, and Cube does a comedy-double-take and exclaims "What, a Prius? Oh hell no, get that outta here!" What follows is a brief, wider shot with no dialogue; a lull which director Tim Story imagined would be filled with the raucous laughter of the packed auditorium; a lull which was more accurately filled tonight by the (admittedly small) audience thinking "…oh. Oh, that was a joke then?". Get used to that awkward cinematic silence my friend, for it will be your sporadic, yet wearily familiar, companion through the following ninety-five minutes of four screenwriters vying for your attention. While Ian Cube arches an eyebrow and says "bullshit".

Now… That sounds harsh, I know. Ride Along is by no means awful, but it's patchy as hell and relies too heavily on the chemistry between Cube and Hart to hold things together. The central pair have some great scenes together, just not all the time. Cube frequently looks like he can't believe the script he's delivering, and Hart frequently looks like he can't believe he's getting away with playing his role as Chris Rock. The supporting cast autopilot their way through what appears to be a promising first-draft of a screenplay, with the honourable exception of Laurence Fishburne who seems to be having a whale of a time (even if his part is as hackneyed as the rest of the movie). And then Cube says "bullshit".

There's shrieking, grunting, the obligatory underwritten girlfriend character, bikers, Eastern European gangsters, the obligatory stuffy police-chief character, black kids on an urban basketball court, gunfire, and a car bursting through the flames of an explosion before the title-card lands. And then Cube says "bullshit" (I think that's a thing). Ride Along did make me laugh in places, but considering how little there is that's 'new' about the film, you'd expect everyone to at least try a bit harder.

For best results, file next to The Other Guys, Cop Out and The Heat.
Make of that what you will.

Is the trailer representative of the film?
Pretty much. That bit with the shotgun? Best joke.

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?
Not as much as Tim Story intended me to.

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?
Not really.

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
It's a rental with a few beers.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?

Will I watch it again?
I wouldn't not watch it again, but I'd need a beer in my hand.

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?
There is. Within the first five minutes.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

And my question for YOU is…
Why is it a thing with Cube saying "bullshit" as if he invented the word? Did I miss a memo, or something?

*1 Call him by his name. Ian Christopher Cube.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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