Buddy cop films have been around since the beginning of time, 48 Hours, Rush Hour, even Tango and Cash. It’s a popular devise to bring two opposite personalities together who normally couldn’t stand each other and many time hilarity ensues. When it comes to sequels of buddy cop films, they have an even more difficult path because no matter what the writers conjure up, it can seem like a derivative of the first film.
In Ride Along 2, out now on Blu-ray, Ice-Cube and Kevin Hart are back bickering and trading insults. Detective James Payton (Ice-Cube) is working undercover on a street race with his partner Mayfield (Tyrese Gibson). Everything is going fine until Ben (Kevin Hart) shows up. He’s a rookie cop and he blows their cover. A shoot out ensues and Mayfield gets hurt in the process. Ben’s career is in serious trouble as his reckless behavior is catching up with him, however the undercover-op did give James a piece of evidence: a thumb drive. This drive is encrypted and no one can access it, but they do know who did the encryption a hacker named A.J. (Ken Jeong).
A.J. doesn’t know this but he’s been working with a drug kingpin named Antonio Pope (Benjamin Bratt) and James is on the case. He’s not willing to let Ben, Ride Along… Sorry, ride along with him. (I had to put a pun in) But with a little help from Ben’s fiancé and James’ sister who really just wants Ben out of the way so she can plan the wedding, Ben rides along… (See what I did there? I just can’t help myself)
Ben and James start to work the case and end up teaming with A.J. and another detective Maya (Olivia Munn) from Miami. This is a pretty dangerous case and you can tell what’s going to happen from here. The interesting thing about plots in buddy cop films, they really don’t matter. No one goes to see a film like Ride Along 2 for the subtle mis en se, they go to escape for an hour and a half and laugh a little. On that front Ride Along 2 works very well.
The two leads Ice-Cube and Kevin Hart clearly enjoy working together and have formed a shorthand in their second outing. Their chemistry is fun and playful, Ice-Cube is well… Ice-Cube, you know what character he’s going to be because he’s played it in every movie he’s ever been in and Kevin Hart is this generations Chris Tucker. And it all works fine on the surface, I actually really enjoyed the movie and thought it was a pleasant diversion.
There was something missing though, and here’s where I go back to the plot. I say it doesn’t matter in films like these because people are going to see it no matter what and it’s still going to make money at the box office and Blu-ray. With that said, a film that’s a pleasant diversion really could be something more, it could be a comedy classic. The two leads are game for it if the script was tighter and less generic. It’s almost like the plot hampers the stars chemistry and ability to play off each other. The chemistry of the leads is what we go in for and here it gets lost a little bit to no fault of the actors.
Ride Along 2 coasts onto Blu-ray in a fine transfer. The film was shot digitally and so the high definition format really pops. The details are crisp and clear and the colors really come alive especially in the more explosive sequences. The details even in the brightly colored Miami-esque clothes the leads wear give the picture a pop of color.
Ride Along 2 is loaded with special features. Included on this set are:
Six deleted scenes, a short gag reel, and several featurettes.
Ride Along with Us – Payton and Barber each try to pitch why one should work for the Atlanta P.D.
The Ride Along Round Table – The cast and crew talk about working on the film and the various aspects of film production, including camera work, casting, etc…
The Ride Diaries – This is a really interesting seven part feature that goes through key moments in the film. It’s very interesting and really well done. I highly suggest taking a look if you want to explore more on the film.
Kevin & Cube: Brothers-in-Law – The cast and crew talk about the chemistry between Ice-Cube and Kevin Hart.
The New Recruits – This is a short feature on the new characters in the second film.
Inside Black Hammer Vision – This is a look at making the films video game-esqe sequence.
Ride Along with Kevin Hart – Just Kevin Hart on the set being… Kevin Hart.
Cori’s Wedding Commercial – This is a fun little feature where the wedding planner pitches her planning skills.
Audio Commentary – Director Tim Story delivers a standard track. It’s good with some look into the shoot, locations, cast, etc…
Overall, while Ride Along 2 isn’t going to go down in history as one of the best comedy films of all time, it is a fun diversion. I do wish more attention was paid to the script and plot because there’s a possibility of a great film buried in what is essentially a good film. Perhaps that’s coming with Ride Along 3.
Ride Along 2 is out now on Blu-ray!