Ride Along review

Four-wheeled drivel...

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Can you be physically assaulted by a comedy? Anything might seem possible after enduring Kevin Hart’s jackhammer performance in this mismatched buddy-cop movie.

Hart is Ben, a fast-talking high school security guard with big dreams of marrying his girlfriend Angela (Tika Sumpter) and becoming a cop. After getting accepted into the academy, he convinces his future brother-in-law James (Ice Cube), the toughest detective in the Atlanta police force, into letting him ride along with him on his patrol.

The disapproving James takes him on a series of exasperating calls designed to scare Ben out of Angela’s life.

As often happens in this kind of set-up, the two get entangled in an investigation and Ben’s obsession with videogames helps bust up a deal between generic Serbian illegal gun dealers and a shadowy crime kingpin named Omar.

Hart also starred in Tim Story’s Think Like A Man (opens in new tab) , but in that film he was doled out in smaller doses. Here, he and Cube are in virtually every scene and the dynamic never changes: Cube is unmovable, oblivious to the fact that he’s in a comedy, while Hart hyperventilates like a caffeinated cartoon.

It’s exhausting, and there’s little relief from the supporting cast. Sumpter is merely a cleavage-baring plot device, while James’ partners (John Leguizamo, Bryan Callen) are lazy sitcom sidekicks.

True, Ride Along never aspires to be anything more than a low-watt 48 Hrs. but Hart and Cube never gel and the gags aren’t funny. Note to Hart: YELLING isn’t always the best comic delivery.

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Freelance writer

Ken McIntyre is a freelance writer who has spent years covering music and film. You'll find Ken in the pages of Total Film and here on GamesRadar, using his experience and expertise to dive into the history of cinema and review the latest films. You'll also find him writing features and columns for other Future Plc brands, such as Metal Hammer and Classic Rock magazine.