Buddy cop films have been a hit or miss genre going all the way back to the 80's where we saw some of the very best of the genre. In recent years there haven't been many, mostly because they end up being quite bad like Kevin Smith's Cop Out. But every once in a while we get a good buddy cop film like 21 Jump Street or The Heat. Sadly, the pairing of Kevin Hart and Ice Cube falls into the miss part of the genre with this year's Ride Along.
Kevin Hart stars as Ben, a security guard who dreams of being a police officer. He spends the majority of his time playing online games and the rest of his time with his girlfriend Angela (Tika Sumpter). Angela has a brother, James (Ice Cube), who can't stand Ben and doesn't think he's good for Angela. Ben tries his best to impress James but can't seem to win him over. James comes up with the idea to take Ben on a ride along as a way to prove not only if he is good enough for his sister but also to see if he's good enough to be a cop.
The problem with Ride Along is not only does it not add anything new to the buddy cop genre but it's story isn't the slightest bit interesting and the film is only sporadically funny. One of the best aspects of buddy cop films is the chemistry between the main stars. There's some slight chemistry between Cube and Hart but they don't really vibe well together. Kevin Hart is giving it his all and he is certainly the highlight here but that's only one part of the hour and a half film. Things may have worked out better if they had someone else playing the straight man but the majority of the faults come from the script.
This is clearly a starring vehicle for Kevin Hart to showcase his comedic abilities and like I said he is the best part without question. It would have been nice if he had some help from anybody else in the cast. Ice Cube seems like he doesn't want to be apart of the film and just coasts through his performance. While Cube may not be the best actor he has proven that he can be funny and it's a shame that none of that is present here. The rest of the cast isn't even worth mentioning as none of them add anything of significance to making the film better, that includes a rather pointless cameo from Laurence Fishburne.
While there are a few laughs to be had the film as a whole is just a mess. Kevin Hart gets to shine and show the world what he's got but it would have been nice to get a little more than just that.