May 302016
 
Title: Ride Along 2
Genre: Action, Comedy
Starring: Ice Cube,
Kevin Hart,
Benjamin Bratt,
Olivia Munn,
Ken Jeong,
Certificate: US: PG-13
UK: 12
Picture: 1080p
2.40:1
Audio Format: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles: English,
Arabic,
Danish
Dutch,
Finnish,
French. etc.
Runtime: 1 Hour 37 mins
Extras: Featurettes,
Deleted Scenes,
Gag Reel,
Making Of,
Photo Gallery
Studio: Universal Pictures
Release Date: USA: Apr 26 2016
UK: May 30 2016
See If You Like: Ride Along,
Get Hard,

Sadly proving once again it’s not always the best idea to put all of your funny moments into the trailer, the brothers-in-law are back with Ride Along 2; a comically dull affair which is likely to appease fans of the first film, but bring no new fans to the series.

Returning leads Ice Cube and Kevin Hart once again star as the straight-laced L.A. detective James Payton and rookie officer/constantly clumsy cock-up Ben Barber respectively; brothers-in-law who’re placed together in a Tim Story directed buddy cop adventure which sees the pair heading to Miami for a paid holiday to take down notorious drug dealer Antonio Pope (Benjamin Bratt, Demolition Man); essentially delivering exactly the same plot, and jokes, as the first film, but in Miami.

As with any buddy-cop comedy film, especially one where a straight-laced lead has to put up with a bungling buffoon of a partner, Ride Along 2 both lives and dies on the strength of its leading men; both in Kevin Hart’s ability to over-sell his cringe-worthy, unbelievably annoying, self, and Ice Cube’s ability to give deadpan reactions to Hart’s buffoonery.

Cube is great at playing the straight guy (just look at his Jump Street character), always interesting to watch, and delivers some of the film’s best moments with how he responds to Hart’s general incompetence. And one thing you have to give Kevin Hart, he really is annoying as hell – sadly, that’s not all down to great acting, and as it appears Kevin Hart is once again playing Kevin Hart in another Kevin Hart movie, if you don’t like Kevin Hart, you’re going to find it hard to enjoy Ride Along 2 (a.k.a Kevin Hart goes to Miami).

Supporting stars fare well enough, as we’re treated to appearances from Hangover star Ken Jeong (delivering a typically Ken Jeong performance – a little OTT, but perfectly fitting for this type of movie), Benjamin Bratt (the Demolition Man star who does a solid job of playing the clichéd action-movie drug lord), and the ever watchable Olivia Munn (currently seen as Psylocke in X-Men: Apocalypse) who provides a welcome addition as not only the film’s eye candy, but a strong female character to stand toe-to-toe with Ice Cube as Miami’s version of the straight-laced detective.

We get a few stand-out scenes; a car chase, a foot chase, a shoot-out or two, as well an undercover infiltration, and plenty of ‘banter’, all of which are handled fairly well, more than competently directed, and bound to bring the laughs if you’re a Kevin Hart fan. The action scenes in particular also far exceed the level of quality needed for a film like this to succeed – they’re quick, exciting, exhilarating, and all come with a few good visual gags; meaning there’s a great balance between the action and the comedy.

Ride-Along-2-03-Ice-Cube-Kevin-Hart

Music is also apt, the cinematography is decent enough (though we’ve seen the similar Miami skyline shots dozens of times before), and direction fares well throughout. Yet it’s not all plain sailing on the technical side, as there are a handful of noticeable editing gripes (where severe cuts either hamper the flow, or overly elongate relatively simple actions such as walking around a car), which can be a little distracting.

Generally though, if you liked the first film then you’re bound to be a fan of Ride Along 2; it’s simply more of the same. If you didn’t, even if you found the trailer funny, but didn’t really enjoy the first Ride Along, then you’re better off steering clear, as Ride Along 2 simply provides more of the same – meaning, aside from a few amusing one-liners and throwaway gags, it’s all boils down to your level of tolerance for the indescribably irritating Kevin Hart.

Ride-Along-2-02-Ice-Cube-Olivia-Munn-Kevin-Hart

Picture:

Thankfully the picture quality on the Ride Along 2 Blu-ray release is top notch; with fantastic levels of fine detail, bold and well balanced colours, and natural looking flesh tones (despite a slightly warm colour palette, which comes from the locations used), as well as great textures, deep blacks, and next to no visible transfer errors, there really is very little to grumble about here.

Audio:

Likewise the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track award to the release is just as strong; with a robust low end (coming in to play during both explosions and gunfights, as well as during bass-heavy music tracks), well anchored and clear dialogue, smooth transitions, solid placement, and excellent ambient effects, and well as spot-on prioritisation; making for an audibly excellent experience.

Ride-Along-2-01-Ice-Cube-Kevin-Hart

Extras:

Also providing fans of the franchise with a number of enjoyable extras, the Ride Along 2 Blu-ray comes with a number of fan-pleasing special features, including an average audio commentary; deleted scenes (largely skippable, and often involve more of Kevin Hart being Kevin Hart); a fun trailer and amusing green screen clips to accompany it; a hilarious gag reel (which brings more genuine laughs than the films itself); and a number of making-of featurettes which provide a fun look behind the scenes of the film.

The Bottom Line:

With solid picture quality, fantastic audio, and a number of bonus materials sure to satisfy its fans (and actually far more fun than the film itself), Ride Along 2 is a technically sound Blu-ray release. Provided you enjoyed the first film, it’s also sure to entertain you as it’s simply more of the same; bigger, flashier, funnier, and filled with the exactly the same humour as last time it’s everything Ride Along fans could want. Sadly however, this is one sequel which won’t be winning any new fans, as it’s still entirely dependent on the dreadfully dire Kevin Hart.

Matt Wheeldon@TheMattWheeldon.

Film:
Ratings 05 Buy from Amazon.co.uk Buy from Amazon.com
Video:
Ratings 09
Audio:
Ratings 10
Extras:
Ratings 08
Overall:
Ratings 07