The first Ride Along was a surprisingly good (read; it didn’t stink) buddy cop film powered by Kevin Hart’s motor-mouth comedy skills and Ice Cube’s ability to project massive levels of distain. Now Ben (Hart) and James (Cube) (forced together by Ben’s relationship with James sister) also work together – well, Ben is a beat cop on probation, and James (who is still a detective) wants nothing to do with him. Yet they still end up together on a mission down to Miami to investigate a hacker (Ken Jeong) working for a “respectable businessman” (Benjamin Bratt) and the usual cop movie hijinks result.
First time around James’ dislike of Ben powered the film, here it’s softened just enough to drain the energy from their team-up. The action is generic cop movie action (even a car chase that turns into a video game falls flat) while the jokes miss more than they hit (a riff on ringtones aside). Cube and Hart do their best, even if Cube has sunglasses on 60% of the time, and as a double act it’s easy to imagine them working in another film. Just not this one, which is so lacklustre it wouldn’t pass muster as a film being watched inside another film.