“Ride Along” fails to drive audience to laughter

Written by Fourth Estate Lifestyle Reporter Andrew Davis

Comedies are not something that will always win Oscars. There are some good comedies that are memorable years after their release, like “National Lampoon’s Animal House” and “Airplane!” but it seems that most are made for some escapism and a good laugh. The JC Cinema has brought their first comedy, “Ride Along,” however, it is not one of the good ones.

“Ride Along” follows Kevin Hart as Ben Barber, a security guard who spends most of his time slacking off and living with his girlfriend. One day, he gets accepted to the police academy, a dream he has had for a long time. Seeing this as the right moment to propose, Ben goes to his girlfriend’s brother, James, a tough police officer, to tell him the news of his acceptance and ask for his blessing. James does not take to this kindly, seeing Ben as a loser with no real hope of being successful. To prove this to his sister, he decides to show Ben what being a cop is like. Hijinks ensue as the two investigate Omar, a notorious criminal, and attempt to bring him in.

This type of story, known as the “Buddy Cop film,” in which two men—usually police officers—of different personalities have to work together in order to bring down a criminal, can be done right or wrong. “Ride Along” is an example of how to do this genre wrong because it brings nothing new to the genre.

Even if “Ride Along” does not at least try something new with this clichéd plot, it could still be entertaining if the stars are dishing out funny jokes. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

Kevin Hart is the weakest link for this film because of how he delivers jokes. For most of the film, he is either speaking at a quick rate or screaming with a high voice. Some people could defend his performance due to the fact that it is his character. If this is the case, then the writing of the character would be at fault.

There are moments where this type of performance works in which Hart acts crazy, allowing his hyper talking and screaming to have a place to carry out a funny joke. However, since Hart does not limit these moments to significant parts of the movie and instead uses it as his main source comedy, his character gets annoying fast. By the time there is a scene where Hart’s performance worked, I was already sick of the guy and was wishing for the film to end soon.

Not even Ice Cube, a man whom I believe can have some good moments, can save this film. His character, James, is as bland as a character can get. Throughout the film, it seems like he only has two personalities: angry or happy.  These personalities are most likely used to tell the audience that Cube is a tough guy, but with the lack of any other personality the character is dull. If one of the four writers had at least given his character some thought and gave him more than two emotions, perhaps he would have been more enjoyable. What we are stuck with is a bland character with almost no personality whatsoever.

“Ride Along” is an example of a forgettable comedy. With a story that has been done many times before and characters that are either annoying or bland, “Ride Along” is an opportunity that you might want to pass over.

If you are still interested in seeing this film, stop by the JC on April 10 at 9:30 p.m., April 11 at 6 and 9 p.m. or April 12 at 6 p.m.

(Photo by Amy Rose)