"Ride Along 2" is the sequel to 2014's mess known as "Ride Along" and it reunites Kevin Hart and Ice Cube as two brother-in-laws who are cops and now have to go to Miami to take down a drug lord played by Benjamin Bratt. Whether or not you liked the first movie will ultimately decide on how you feel about this movie. Most people, myself included, found "Ride Along" to be a mediocre comedy that was saved by some OK chemistry between Ice Cube and Kevin Hart, and in short, that's basically what you have with this movie.
I personally like Kevin Hart as a stand-up comic and I also find him to be pretty funny in most of his movie roles, but I feel like we're officially reaching the point where Hart should just stick to stand-up since he's playing the same character in every movie. Last year's "Get Hard" was when I realized that Hart is slowly becoming the annoying comedian who does nothing but scream in a high-pitched voice to get laughs and that's unfortunately what he does in this movie. His character is the same bumbling moron from the first film, only there's twice as much of him screaming and screwing things up to the point where you're not even sure if you like him. But wait, we not only have one annoying, screaming comedian, but now we have two with the introduction of Ken Jeong. When those two are onscreen together, it's basically just two high-pitched voices talking to each other and you can only tolerate it for so long. You eventually start to attach to Ice Cube in that you understand how annoyed he is, but at the same time it's a challenge to like his character because of his unrealistic emotional distance from everything around him. That leaves you with virtually no characters to either relate to or just simply like.
For the rest of the supporting cast, there are two other actors that stand out for better or worse. First is Benjamin Bratt as the drug lord and I won't lie, he actually got a couple of good laughs out of me. He's the most over-the-top, cliched drug lord you can imagine, but Bratt totally hams up the role to a degree where you just accept it since the humor comes from how bizarre and unrealistic it is. The other supporting role is Olivia Munn giving a performance that also stands out, but only because of how bad it is. Her character is basically serving as a romantic interest for Ice Cube, but not only did I not buy into their romance, I also couldn't stand that Olivia Munn's performance is just her standing around with either a pouty face or a face of unjustified wide-eyed shock. I'm sure she's a fine actress in other films and she may just own the role of Psylocke in "X-Men: Apocalypse", but she was just plain bad in this movie.
Now seeing as how this movie is a comedy, it's only fair to judge it as such and here it is: This movie isn't funny. Like I said earlier, this movie relies too heavily on Kevin Hart just being loud and stupid and it gets old VERY quickly. And outside of that, this movie has the typical unfunny jokes you'd expect in a sequel to a comedy that wasn't any good to begin with. Jokes with someone getting hit over the head, jokes with characters acting stupid to an unbelievable degree, and moments where the screenwriter clearly didn't have any dialogue written for a certain conversation, so the director just decided to film the actors doing improv, but that also wears out its welcome. Aside from some moments with Benjamin Bratt and a couple of scattered sequences such as a "Grand Theft Auto" driving scene, this movie didn't deliver any legitimately good laughs.
And as with most comedy sequels, this movie is just a complete repeat of stuff that happened in the first film. It's not like with "22 Jump Street" where they acknowledge the rehash and they make fun of themselves for doing it. It's really just a lazy rehash of stuff we've already seen in not only the first movie, but other comedies that are much more enjoyable than this one. This is the classic case of the director taking the script from the first movie, adding a 2 to the end of "Ride Along", and submitting that as the finished product.
Overall, "Ride Along 2" is exactly what I expected it to be. It's not funny, the characters are unlikable in their own way, it's a rehash of the first film, and Kevin Hart just continues to solidify himself as the same old annoying character from all of his other movies. Fans of the first movie might enjoy this, but the problem is that this movie IS the first one. Beat for beat, everything is pretty much the same and for that reason, I can't recommend this movie.
Rating: Some Ol' Bullshit