Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy gave fresh spark to the buddy-cop comedy with last year’s crude, rude and intermittently hilarious The Heat, but the well-worn genre looks very tired indeed in the hands of Ice Cube and Kevin Hart in Ride Along.
Inevitably, they’re a mismatched duo. Rapper-turned-actor Cube is the hard-bitten Atlanta police veteran and fast-talking comedian Hart is the naïve security guard who is going out with his sister Angela (Tika Sumpter). Hoping to put paid to his dreams both of marrying Angela and becoming a cop, Cube invites Hart to join him on patrol to give him a chance to prove his worth.
He’s lined up some booby-trapped situations designed to scare off his prospective brother-in-law – including a brush with a biker gang and a trip to a shooting range – only for things to turn real when they stumble upon clues to the gunrunning case he is trying to crack.
The crime plot is lazily predictable (no prizes for spotting the bad guys), but the comedy is barely any better. Cube plays the straight man to Hart’s manic motor mouth, but anyone who isn’t already a fan of the pint-sized stand-up will probably find his comic shtick more irritating than amusing. Depressingly, the film has been a huge hit in the States and a sequel is already in the works.
Certificate 12A. Runtime 100 mins. Director Tim Story
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