Critics might not be crazy about “Ride Along,” but we don’t think die-hard fans will mind.
Kevin Hart is Ice Cube’s latest sidekick in Universal’s odd-couple cop comedy, in which Hart’s character is hell-bent on earning the approval of his fiancée’s overprotective brother, a police officer played by Cube. Thus begins their story, placing Hart in the passenger seat of Cube’s cop car as the two fight petty crime — and take on a drug kingpin — during a 24-hour Atlanta adventure.
Film critics say we’ve seen it before, but some argue that the film is merely another venue for funnyman Hart to showcase his comedic chops. “Ride Along,” directed by Tim Story (“Think Like a Man,” “Barbershop”), hits theaters Friday (January 17).
It’s A Lot Like ’Friday’
“The formula is always the same: Cube, who is level-headed for the most part, gets into trouble with his ridiculous sidekick. ’Ride Along’ is no different, and that’s OK. It’s a blueprint we’ve come to rely on for nearly 20 years.” — Jessica Herndon, The Associated Press
Don’t Overthink It
“What ’Ride Along’ actually is, mostly for the better, is a forum for Kevin Hart to be the best stand-up comedian he can be. And when he is that Kevin Hart, working at a mile a minute, always on the verge of exasperation, constantly examining new ways to deliver a joke, ’Ride Along’ is an extremely watchable quasi-movie. When it’s bogged down by little peccadillos such as story, relationships, or logic, well, it’s clearly not half as good.” — Laremy Legel, Film.com
And Don’t Overhype It
“’Ride Along,’ trading in too much action and not enough comedy, is best considered as the latest restaurant to open in an Olive Garden-type chain. No surprises. Pretty much like the last one you went to. Plus lots of breadsticks.” — Michael Phillips, The Chicago Tribune
It’s the Awards Season Antidote
“It feels good to laugh. After bingeing on a heavy meal of year-end movie releases — those films competing for a gold trophy come March — it’s easy to forget how pleasant a moderately inane broad comedy can be.” — Stephanie Merry, The Washington Post
Don’t Forget About the Action
“In the first five minutes of ’Ride Along,’ director Tim Story gives us a shootout, a car chase and a massive explosion. So if you’re looking for brainless action, hop in. But if you’re aiming any higher, you’ll probably want to find another ride.” — Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News