Monday, 25 January 2016

Review: Ride Along 2

World of Blackout Film Review

Ride Along 2 Poster

Ride Along 2
Cert: 12A / 102 mins / Dir. Tim Story / Trailer
WoB Rating: 2/7

This is a film which features a lengthy, suburban Miami foot-chase setpiece between Kevin Hart and Ken Jeong, soundtracked by Gloria Estefan. Close your eyes and imagine that. No, close them again, and imagine it again. The panting. The shrieking. The gratuitous bikini shots. Nowhere near edgy enough to earn a 15 certificate, but nothing you'd want to show to a 12yr old, either. With Gloria Estefan singing at you all the while. It encapsulates everything that Ride Along 2 is, perfectly.

One of the worst things about the movie is being forced to remember Ride Along, and concede that it was better than this; a film which I by no means hated but could likewise muster very little enthusiasm for. And so, two years have passed and director Tim Story returns to his established continuity with Kevin 'Haha, I'm short, that's funny' Hart and Ian 'Bullshit' Cube. An uncalled for follow-up to a film nobody wanted, like a head-on car crash between GTA: Vice City and Saved By The Bell, in which nobody survived who was able to deliver a joke. Or write a joke. Or identify a joke.

As with its predecessor, Ride Along 2 isn't awful for its entire runtime (several smirks, although no laughs I'm afraid), but the concept isn't even trying any more; a watered-down version of something which was diluted to begin with. Formulaic yet unfocused, even its headlining stars look bored. I swear to god that there's a computer whirring away in the back offices of Universal Pictures churning out screenplays of comedically mismatched buddy-cop pairings that begin with glowering glances and shrieking, and end with a car-chase/shoot-out in a shipping yard. It's not even a particularly powerful computer. It doesn't need to be.

Best scene: The Ice Cube character arches an eyebrow and says to the Kevin Hart character, "Do you ever listen to the shit that come out of yo' mouth?"*1, to which Hart wordlessly slides a full-length mirror in front of Cube; a mirror which has the cover of Straight Outta Compton sellotaped in the top corner with a sad-face sticker on it.

Hart arches an eyebrow in return and walks off set…

So, watch this if you enjoyed?
I have no idea. Probably not even Ride Along, to be fair.

Should you watch this in a cinema, though?
This is, at its absolute best, a film to get from the £3 shelf in Asda to watch while you're getting drunk with as many friends in the room as possible, so that your minimal financial outlay is still spread over a wide audience.

Does the film achieve what it sets out to do?
I have no idea.

Is this the best work of the cast or director?

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

Yes, but is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?

Yes, but what's the Star Wars connection?
Level 2: Ride Along 2 stars Olivia Munn who appeared in last January's underwhelming comedy of choice Mortdecai alongside Ewan 'Kenobi' McGregor.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

*1 This part genuinely happens. The man whose production company was partially responsible for the film keeps a straight face while his character criticises the scripted lines of another.

• ^^^ 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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