Courtesy of Universal Pictures
Courtesy of Universal Pictures

You know, if a real gangster decided to work for the cops, he would be killed in a gangland assassination if he didn’t enter witness protection. We all know that despite his claims about owning an AK-47 and boasting that he would “swarm on any motherfucker in a blue uniform,” Ice Cube isn’t a real gangster. He did appear in the movie “Ride Along 2” however, and he certainly isn’t an actor.

I’d like to clarify that while this movie has a lot to hate, I didn’t find the experience entirely awful. It could be because I saw it at the drive-in and powered through half a pack of Marlboros in between handfuls of Bugles. Whatever it is, director Tim Story remembered what other directors tend to forget: that comedies need a “straight man” to serve as the voice of restraint in contrast to the comedy-leads goofy antics. So during Kevin Hart’s comedy bits in between action sequences, the director had the sense to tell Ice Cube to keep his mouth shut.

The buddy-cop film is something of a dying genre, and I have no delusions that the “Ride Along” franchise is going to do anything to revive it. Probably because this movie has major problems with tone. While earlier scenes feature some successful attempts at goofy comedy, the ending goes totally off the rails in a bloodbath when Ice Cube, the obligatory female character (Olivia Munn) and good-natured Hart kill off the film’s main antagonists. I’m all for dumb comedy, but the results are always poor when you try to mix “Mad Max” levels of violence with “The Three Stooges.”

Rating: 2/5 Stars