Comedy, it’s a genre that relies entirely on excelling in one and only one thing. However, often times when comedy films don’t have a coherent plot, they turn into random spoofs such as Scary Movie, or Disaster Movie. There’s a fine line between an original comedy film, and a bad spoof, this is where Ride Along lands. It’s an original comedy film in all its glory, but it’s not shy enough to pull out some much-needed comedy gags for some extra fun. Does that make it a good film though? Well… no, but it doesn’t make it bad either!
How to Download Ride Along
You can download the film from a digital store. You can also stream it. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice.
The Movie Review
Ben is trying his hardest to win over his girlfriend’s brother James, who has been a massive hurdle in their relationship due to the fact that he thinks Ben is a wuss. James invites Ben to join him on a ride-along patrol for the entire day, while Ben believes James is doing it to get to know him, but in reality, he just wants to scare him off. Essentially, the plot can be boiled down to Ben interfering with James’ attempt to apprehend Omar, the head of a crime gang, while they are riding together for 24 hours. The ‘Ride Along’ is only a pretext for crazy things to happen there.
This movie will likely be largely forgotten in the long run. It is consistently funny as a comedy, featuring the classic straight man and the antagonizing oddball duo which is reminiscent of old-school buddy comedies. Being Ben allows Kevin Hart to be completely himself: talking as loud as possible and doing comedy at his own expense. Kevin Hart is a character in and of himself; he appears in all of his films as the same guy and yet it is always entertaining. Ice Cube as James makes a terrific counterpoint to this. The fact that he simply doesn’t laugh throughout the whole film, or even smile is just amazing. He might even be overly serious at times, which only serves to heighten the humor.
Ride Along rides a thin line between absurdist comedy, action comedy, and slice-of-life comedy. In fact, the film is good at what it does, it’s a comedy film with a coherent plot and lots of random jokes placed in the middle to space out the story. Director Tim Story might be good at his job, but the script he was handed is not impressive whatsoever. In fact, it’s very underwhelming for the most part as the story feels very contrived and relies on random plot devices. This is why I consider it a kind of absurdist comedy, as things just happen too easily.
The dialogue is also a bit too draggy at times, it takes away from the snappy comedy when Kevin’s just babbling on for 3 minutes without remorse. It’s funny for sure, but it becomes repetitive when you’re relying on the same person as a crutch for your lack of creativity. Oh, by the way, the action is pretty bad! There’s no weight to the characters’ movement, and the comedy within the action is not done well. It’s the lowest form of slapstick.
When it comes to the cinematography though, the film does have a good sense of color to it. The color grading is actually very nice, as it has warm undertones, along with some colder blues and intense reds. Moreover, the film also has decent camera work, especially considering this is a comedy film and they don’t usually put effort into that. The music is underwhelming though, it doesn’t really add much to the overall film. There are some scenes with third-party songs where the absurdist comedy kicks in and it’s somewhat funny.
Kevin Hart emerged from the film looking like a particularly great and funny leading guy, and this was one of the films that put him on a higher level for years to come. The movie is successful in showing us how talented Kevin and Ice Cube can be for comedy, but the film’s creators shouldn’t congratulate themselves. The two factors that can be called out as positives for this worn-out, formulaic, and often contrived plot are Ice Cube and Kevin Hart themselves. They keep it funny, they keep it entertaining and they bring all the heart they can into it.
- Kevin Hart and Ice Cube are an amazing duo, funny till the very end
- The comedy is super good at times, with the dialogue being funny and well-written
- The visuals are actually quite great for a comedy film
- There are moments with songs that are witty
- The story is very forced
- The relationship between Ice Cube and his sister is not developed
- The action is not very good
- The music is underwhelming