Star Rating:

Ride Along 2

Actors: Kevin Hart, Ken Jeong, Ice Cube

Release Date: Friday 22nd January 2016

Genre(s): Factual

Running time: 102 minutes

The sequel to the 2014 surprise hit, Ride Along 2 picks up about a year after the original. Ben Barber (Kevin Hart) is all set to marry the love of his life Angela (Tika Sumpter) but he's still trying to prove himself to her brother James (Ice Cube).

Fresh out of the Police Academy, Ben is working as a beat cop but wants the chance to show that he's cut out to be a detective like his soon to be brother in law. James on the other hand doesn't believe he's detective material. When a piece of evidence from a case James is working on leads him to hacker AJ (Ken Jeong) in Miami, he reluctantly decides to let Ben tag along for the ride. Both men see it as the perfect opportunity to prove the other wrong. Naturally what is supposed to be a routine questioning of a suspect leads to them becoming entangled in a much bigger criminal operation.

Sound familiar? That's probably because it is essentially the same story as the original movie. But this is hardly the first sequel to do that so we'll let it slide. What we can't let slide though is that for a comedy, the movie is light on laughs. You might chuckle at the odd joke here and there but that's about it. The main reason for this is that the filmmakers have positioned Kevin Hart's Ben as the only source of comedy in the whole movie. Which is a shame considering they drafted in Ken Jeong and Olivia Munn as support for the central duo. Jeong entertained in The Hangover trilogy and fans of The Newsroom will know that Munn can be hilarious when given the right material. Why bring them in if you're going to cut their screen time short to make more room for Hart's one liners?

The quintessential problem with Hart is that he's kind of like Marmite. You either love him or you hate him. He may be championed in the US as the next Chris Rock but for this reviewer he's much closer to Chris Tucker.

The villain doesn't do the movie any favours either. Benjamin Bratt does his best to be as dastardly as possible but when you compare his Antonio Pope to Laurence Fishbourne's crime lord in the original, he very much looks like cut price casting.

If you're a fan of the original then you'll like Ride Along 2. Otherwise there's not much to enjoy here.