HOLLYWOOD—Well, they’re back! Kevin Hart and Ice Cube re-team for the sequel “Ride Along 2” which follows Detective James Payton (Cube) and his protégé Officer Ben Barber (Hart) as they head to Miami to battle crime. The first flick which proved to be a box-office hit, has all the same elements from the first installment, but decides to amplify the chaos and laughs with more action and humor.
For starters, Hart and Cube portray total opposites in the flick; Ben is still on his journey to prove to his soon to be brother-in-law that he is ready for detective work. As much as James despises Ben’s guts, he is forced to get along with him because he is marrying his sister Angela (Tika Sumpter).
The flick opens with a glimpse of the dangerous dealings in Miami involving crime lord Antonio Pope portrayed by a suave and debonair Benjamin Pratt. His looks might be charming, but let’s say this is one guy you don’t want to cross. The crime in Miami is felt in Atlanta as James and his partner Mayfield (Tyrese Gibson) utilize their muscle to go after a drug dealer named Troy (Glen Powell).
In a hilarious scene, Hart proves that when trying to be funny, he is indeed funny when he accosts the bad guy. Those shenanigans place James without a partner, who is none too pleased to hear he has been put on assignment to travel to Miami to find the muscle who has been pulling strings in the ATL.
It is here where director Tim Story utilizes the lavish Miami scene and scene stealers Olivia Munn who portrays Detective Maya Cruz, and Pope’s tech guru A.J. (Ken Jeong). Cruz plays a love interest to James, but also the lady who seems to tame Ben with all of his wisecracking antics.
While James and Maya flex their authority, this provides ample opportunity for Hart and Jeong to deliver silly banter and comedic moments for the audience in this high-octane action-ride. I was not the biggest fan of the first installment of the franchise. I didn’t find the jokes or humor as funny as those surrounding me. I think the addition of Munn and Jeong delivers a better-rounded cast, and it does help to have a narrative that is a bit more engaging in my opinion. While it’s pretty evident, where the movie is headed, it’s still entertaining to watch.
While many will argue that it’s the guys who bring all the funny, this sequel shows that Munn definitely has impeccable comedic timing, as well as Sherri Shepherd who portrays Ben’s worse nightmare as the wedding planner from hell. If its laughs that you are hoping to get in the multiplex, “Ride Along 2” is the perfect treat.