Running Time: 1 hour 39 minutes
There is nothing Ben Barber (Kevin Hart) wants more than to become a cop and marry his girlfriend Angela (Tika Sumpter). Before he can propose, he has to prove his worthiness to Angela’s overprotective brother James (Ice Cube). James decides to take Ben on a Ride Along, intending to dash Ben’s hopes of being a cop and wreck his relationship with Angela. After a disastrous start to the day, Ben unwittingly contributes a clue to a big case that James is working on and gets drawn into the investigation. When the bullets start flying, James ends up finding that the only person he can rely on is Ben.
Ride Along is not forging any new territory, but it takes a lot of well-worn tropes and makes them work. Kevin Hart works in a movie when he works his motor-mouthed wit and keeps from getting screechy. He stays on the right side of that line for the majority of the time in this movie and Ice Cube makes a great straight man. It was also refreshing that in a very male dominated film Tika Sumpter manages to play Angela with strength and resolve and keeps her from just being an object two guys are fighting over.
Most of the jokes are as obvious as a pie in the face, and you see every twist in the criminal investigation coming from a mile away, but that didn’t detract from my enjoyment at all. I am a big fan of both Bryan Callen and John Leguizamo and the film could have used a larger helping of both of those guys, but otherwise, Ride Along does what it needs to do. C+