Ride Along 2

(Universal Pictures Home Entertainment)

 

Two mismatched cops (and future brothers-in-law) must partner up to solve a major case - and not die trying.

 

Rated PG-13, for sequences fo violence, sexual content, language, and some drug material.

Genre: Action comedy

Viewer Appeal: Ages 13 and up.

 

Honestyly, I'm at the point in my life where I'll see a movie just because Kevin Hart is in it. Yes, he usually plays the same character - a fast-talking, brash, comically-confident and slightly inept guy in over his head - but it's a character that makes me laugh, so you know, I'm in. So when I saw that Ride Along 2 starring Kevin Hart and a scowling Ice Cube is now on Blu-ray, what could I do? I sat down and hope for a few more laughs at Mr. Hart's expense. Thankfully, Ride Along 2 doesn't disappoint.

 

In case you missed the  first Ride Along movie, here's the basic premise: Kevin Hart is Ben Barber, a police officer wannabe. He's engaged to Angela Payton (Tika Sumpter), a beautiful woman whose brother James (Ice Cube) is a real deal, hardcore, plainclothes detective in Atlanta. Ben is a screw-up trying to make good and impress is future brother-in-law. James is the tough-as-nails cop who doesn't think Ben is good enough for the police force, or his sister. Yeah, it's a classic "odd couple" set-up, but it works, mostly because Hart as Ben plays with such and endearing earnestness and vulnerability...and slapstick that sometimes surprises with involuntary laughter. Suffice it to say that Ride Along was a box office hit, so Ben and James are back for another adventure.

 

For Ride Along 2, Ben has finally graduated from the Police Academy and is ready to start his new career. Trouble is, he doesn't want to be a beat cop; he wants to be a detective likeJames. He gets a chance to tag along with James to Miami, following a lead to on a big-time investigation, trying to take down bad guy Antonio Pope (Benjamin Bratt). You guessed it - Ben's motormouth and, um, questionable decision-making get the guys in trouble, and they have to spend the rest of the movie trying to salvage their case (and Ben's upcoming wedding). The story pretty much follows the same formula as the first movie, with plenty of action, plenty of wisecracks and mildly outlandish situations, and lots of Ice Cube scowling while Kevin Hart mugs for the camera. Ken Jeong (also playing mostly the same kind of character he usually plays in movies) adds flavor as a quirky computer hacker as well. So basically, it's awesome - as long as you liked the first Ride Along film. If you go into this movie with different expecations, though, you may be disappointed, so just remember why you or your kids wanted to see Ride Along 2 in the first place and you'll be fine. Parents should also be aware that this movie includes plenty of action-style violence, some profanity and sex talk, and the obligatory Miami-heat bikini-bodies on full display.

 

Overall, Ride Along 2 is everything it promises to be: 102 minutes of stress-relieving action and comedy, with a few heartwarming moments and a lot of Kevin Hart being "Kevin Hart" for the big screen. Go ahead and enjoy it for what it is - you know you want to anyway. 

 

The Blu-ray edition of Ride Along 2 includes some fun behind-the-scenes extras like "The Ride Diaries" (an on-set featurette), "Ride Along with Kevin Hart" (following the star actor around during a day of shooting the film), and a mock wedding video/commercial, "Cori's Wedding Commercial."

 

Let's Talk About It

Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:

 

• Which character in this movie would you most like to hang out with for a day? Why?

 

• Ben really struggles with self-esteem and a need to prove himself worthy to James. When do you feel like Ben? What do you do about it?

 

• What's the best advice you could give to Ben? To James? Explain.

 

--MN

 

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