“… Ride Along 2 is what happens when franchises don’t learn from their mistakes.”
After watching Ride Along the other day I though that I might as well watch the sequel, Ride Along 2. I’m not a masochist, but it seems that sometimes I do exhibit the tendencies of one, case in point I decided on my own volition to watch Ride Along 2. Ride Along 2 follows the same characters that we know and love, but this time they are in Miami. Ben Barber (Kevin Hart) is now a rookie just a month out of the academy, but that doesn’t stop him from shadowing James Payton (Ice Cube) on his many detective duties. When James gets a clue that leads him to Miami to track down a hacker, he reluctantly brings Ben along at the request of his sister who needs some time to prepare for her and Ben’s wedding. When Ben and James arrive in Miami, they discover that the case they came to work on is actually connected to a much bigger case (because isn’t it always?). The movie also stars some other people, but who gives a shit.
It’s hard for me to write a review about Ride Along 2 because I pretty much already wrote it when I watched Ride Along. All I have left to say is that Ride Along 2 is what happens when franchises don’t learn from their mistakes. Ride Along 2 is classified as an action/comedy (in that order), so let’s discuss it as an “action movie” first. Ride Along 2 has to be one of the more boring films that I have seen in a long time. The film is supposed to be fun, but I couldn’t help but feel irritated. Ride Along 2 might have the most paint-by-numbers plot I have ever seen. Absolutely nothing was a surprise, which made what little action there was even more dull than it would have been. And to top it all off, the one ‘big’ action scene that we did get was composed of fifty percent “video game graphics”. And by the way, I’m convinced that nobody who worked on Ride Along 2 knows what a video game is. I had this problem with the first movie as well, but I have less to talk about in this review so I’m going to bring it up here. The “video games” that Ben plays are these really shitty, PS1 graphics-composed, mix of like 3 different popular video game series. I understand that movies can’t use real video games without getting permission and all that, but even if you are going to make a fake video game make it look believable. And I’m curious as to why they couldn’t use a real video game, because in the background of many shots you have: a Gears of War 3 poster, an Xbox One, and an Xbox 360. Surely they had to get permission to use any of those things, so why didn’t Microsoft say “Hey, have the character play this Microsoft-exclusive game to showcase our great system”, instead of having the main character play a game on their console that looks worse than any mobile game you can get on any device currently. And then later on in the movie during the “real life video game” section, when Ben ‘wins’ the screen says “Game Over”. What the fuck? I understand that “Game Over” literally means “the game is over”, but when used in a video game context it usually means that the player has lost. Ben ‘won’, so why the fuck did it say “Game Over”. Man, this movie pissed me off.
So let’s move on to the second part of the action/comedy genre, comedy. Now generally for a movie to be labeled a comedy it has to be funny, so I’m rather confused at how Ride Along 2 got that title. Now I know that comedy is subjective so some people may have thought Ride Along 2 was hilarious; I am not one of those people. Not only were the jokes super predictable much like the film’s plot, but a good number of them were also re-used from the first movie. Well, at least they had the same punchlines. We get it, Kevin Hart is short and Ice Cube doesn’t like him. This time we got to add Ken Jeong into the mix as well. Now I love Ken Jeong, but I can easily say that he was miles above Ride Along 2. Not even his generally hilarious delivery could make me laugh in this absolute bore of a film. We also get to see laugh-riot Olivia Munn, do… stuff. I’m going to be honest, I would have completely forgotten that she was in Ride Along 2 had I not briefly glanced at the film’s IMDB page before starting to write this review. Ride Along 2 also features larger-scale action scenes, but unfortunately these are accomplished with absolutely terrible CGI. We’re talking cartoon crocodiles, and terrible-looking fire everyone. How can I not love this movie?! Finally, just when I thought my suffering was over, Ride Along 2 hits me with the uppercut. As the credits start to roll I hear the ever-familiar “WOOP WOOP”, and I knew that everything I had just experienced must have been some elaborate joke that was played on me. It was like my own Matrix, but instead of everything being alright Agent Smith just fucked with me for two hours. That’s right, Ride Along 2 ends it shit-show with the grand return of one of the strikes that I gave the previous film in the series. As I sat there with Sound of Da Police blaring in my headphones, and tears welling in my eyes, I was finally defeated.
Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice… you know the rest. The point I’m trying to make is that the Ride Along series managed to fool me twice, so in the words of George W. Bush: “…can’t get fooled again”.
I give Ride Along 2 a D