This Is a Franchise Now? – Ride Along 2 (2016)

Generic sequel.  So after the events of the first movie, Ben (Kevin Hart) is now on the police force.  He is about to get married and still feels the need to prove himself to his soon to be brother-in-law (Ice Cube), so it is off to Miami for them to bust a case a week before the wedding.  This movie just proves the point that if you have a film that has any amount of commercial success, Hollywood is going to try its damnedest to capitalize upon it and squeeze it for every nickel it is worth.  The first Ride Along was adequate at best, but it made over 5 times its production budget domestically.  With Ride Along 2, it seems like they pulled a rejected script for Beverly Hills Cop 4 out of the trash and rewrote it to fit these two characters in.

1You can figure out everything that’s going to happen in the first 20 minutes.

Now I actually ended up watching this in two halves, because I wanted to grab some lunch.  After I finished eating, the thought crossed my mind if I really needed to keep watching it, because I already knew everything else that would happen in the remaining 40 minutes.  Of course, I’m a professional, so I finished it out.  It’s just so clichéd, and this is a movie that would have been tired if it came out in 1988.  It’s an odd couple buddy cop movie and that’s it.  It may have been different if you care about these two characters from the first movie, but you don’t.  Ice Cube is just mean mugging the whole time like he doesn’t want to be here, and Kevin Hart is perpetually bickering, because that’s his thing.  It’s really reaching the point where Hart is wearing out his welcome; I appreciate that he is working so hard to make a career for himself, but the days where his shtick was fresh like it was in Think Like a Man are in the rear view.  It’s not like these two have chemistry or anything, and it’s not entirely believable that Ice Cube wouldn’t have arranged some unfortunate “accident” in all the time that has passed in this story.

2It’s almost like this is Chris Tucker’s second coming.

I don’t know if these guys are stealing a page from the Adam Sandler playbook in using a movie to write off a Miami vacation, but it wouldn’t shock me.  There are no surprises, and so much of how this is pieced together is lazy.  It’s never offensively bad, so it’s not like you walk away from this thinking that you just witnessed the worst thing in the world, but it can’t go without saying just how much of a waste of time this is more than anything else.  There’s just no reason out there to watch this, because you’re so much better off just rewatching 21 or 22 Jump Street, two movies that perfect everything this movie haphazardly attempts.

Ride Along 2 (2016) **

– Critic for Hire

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