In Theaters: January 17th
To quote Ice Cube playing Detective James who is quoting Ice Cube, “Today was a good day.” You can’t help but feel that way after watching Ride Along, which stars the legendary MC and everyone’s favorite funnyman, Kevin Hart. Plus, who doesn’t want to see the gangsta rapper-turned-actor crack a smile on the big screen as he proudly recites his iconic lyric? Priceless. Cube has good reason to say it, too. Through a series of crazy ride-along situations, his character successfully and hilariously causes Ben (Hart) to face the reality that he might not have what it takes to be an Atlanta PD officer and, as a result, isn’t good enough to marry Angela (Tike Sumpter), James’ little sister.
What separates Ride Along from other buddy-cop action comedies in recent memory (21 Jump Street, The Heat) is that it puts a spotlight on modern-day gaming and the affect that highly interactive video games, like Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto, has on players’ day-to-day social behaviors and romantic relationships. You guessed it! Ben is addicted to such a game. The player-to-player sh*t talking, the girlfriend standing in front of the TV in a desperate attempt to get her man’s attention thereby injuring him (in the game, ha!), virtual friends listening in on private conversations through the ubiquitous headset…they all make for some really great laughs in this movie. Needless to say, the flick is enjoyable for both sexes. Guys will love it. Women will quietly snicker to themselves when they aren’t laughing at the silliness of it all.
Incidentally, Ben’s gaming alter ego (Black Hammer) may be the key to him landing a police badge. Well, that and the fact the he truly loves Angela and wants to prove himself worthy to her older brother. It gives him the confidence and fearlessness to want to save the day and put himself in dangerous situations (strip club shootouts, an arms deal) even after James repeatedly tries to knock him down. He can even identify a gun by the sound it makes and is able to pick up on clues thanks to countless hours playing his video game. But as the females in the audience will be quick to remind you: it’s just a movie.
Cube and Hart are a strong pairing. It’s amusing to see Hart, who plays a high school security guard, follow big dog detective Ice Cube around like a puppy, trying to gain his approval. Hart’s signature long-winded jokes work well in the movie. Although, he spits them out so fast, you sometimes can’t follow along, but you’ll find yourself laughing anyway. Hart’s physical comedy chops are also showcased in the film. Meanwhile, Cube plays the scary, tough guy as only he can, and expertly knows when to use it to his comedic advantage.
With acting heavyweights like John Leguizamo and Laurence Fishburne also on the credits, it’s clear Ride Along isn’t all fun and games—there’s a decent story in there. (watch for cameos from David Banner and Angie Stone). Also, it’s been reported that Universal Pictures has already asked writers Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi to get started on the sequel before the first one is even released. That’s a very good sign that the movie is worth seeing, if you ask us.
— Danielle (UrbanBridgez.com Writer/Reporter)