I heard it asked, after this movie was a critical flop, if Kevin Hart was becoming the new Adam Sandler. I’d argue that he’s more like the new Will Ferrell. He’s really funny and talented, but he’s also up for anything, so shitty filmmakers keep putting him in their shitty films. It’s no coincidence that Hart and Ferrell shared a shitty film not too long ago (Get Hard). But when paired with a solid crew, Hart can be a miracle worker. Case in point, the original Ride Along, one of the more underrated comedies in a time when every comedy was underrated. But how does the sequel stack up?

Not bad, actually. I mean, not good. But not bad. I think what saves this movie for me is really the comedic chemistry of Kevin Hart and Ice Cube. The two are a match made in heaven, and they turn what could have been a super lame action movie into a pretty solid comedy, as they did in the first. Also, the cinematography is actually pretty good. Director Tim Story is known mainly for making run-of-the-mill rom-coms, but he definitely pulls his weight.

Now, onto the film’s problems, which are fruitful and jarring. The action is really bad. The fight scenes are boring and quick, while the chase scenes take forever and aren’t particularly impressive. For a detective movie, there really isn’t enough plot. We learn the closest thing the film has to a twist within the first half hour. Ken Jeong delivers another phoned in performance. I’m worried about the guy.

But here’s the biggest problem with Ride Along 2: Kevin Hart is unlikable. I don’t know what sort of black magic you need to pull to make Kevin Hart unlikable, but his character just has no redeeming qualities. His fuck-ups are always funny, but he never really reaches that endearing quality that he needs to make it work. He’s just an all-around bad character.

Those are some pretty damning complaints, but I did like this film. I’d give it a C+. If you got a kick out of the first one, check it out.

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