Ride Along 2: Too Much of the Same From Buddy-Cop Comedy Sequel
‘More of the same’ seems to be the M.O. in Tim Story’s uninspired and unnecessary sequel to the 2014’s equally uncalled for – but profitable – buddy-cop comedy, Ride Along 2. Returning to the big screen for a second round of laughs are Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, whose bickering ways are once again the anchor that tries to steady this ship, except this time round it, it all feels a little half-baked.
The story once again picks up with no-nonsense Atlanta cop, James Payton (Cube), and his motor-mouthed gag show of a ‘partner’, Ben Barber (Hart), the latter of whom is to marry the former'ssister, Angela (Sumpter), in two weeks. After an embarrassing incident during their last undercover assignment together, James is convinced that Ben – who has recently graduated from police academy and is eager to show his worth – will never be able to make detective and invitse him along for a ride to Miami to help him investigate a drug ring case he’s been working on to prove that he just doesn’t cut it.
Once there, they team up with Maya Cruz (Munn); a tough-as-nails Miami detective as they target drug dealer, businessman and philanthropist, Antonio Pope (Bratt). Helping the trio is A.J (Jeong), a key witness and talented computer hacker who is in possession of a key piece of information that could crack the case.
Apart from a change of location, there’s nothing new on offer with Ride Along 2 and while there are a couple of moments of genuine humour, there isn’t a solid spine to keep the film alive. One of the major faults lies in its plot, which, unlike in the first film, seems needlessly overwritten and contrived, forcing the movie to rely a little too much on the characters and their ‘humorous’ dynamics to deliver the goods, with little real context beyond an ‘odd-couple’ set-up.
Unfortunately, the humour is generally threadbare and not even the inclusion of new characters – Munn is terribly underused – can help the story move to a new direction. Both Cube and Hart are hoping that by playing off of the same comedic template – Cube as the scowling badass who can do no wrong and Hart as his wired brother-in-law-to-be hoping to earn his respect someday – that they will guarantee the laughs. Unfortunately, thanks to a lazy and often absurd script – an angry alligator also makes an appearance at one point – whatever vision birthed this sequel just doesn’t add up.