Ice Cube and Kevin Hart are back in “Ride Along 2.” The last time we saw them, they were about to become brother-in-laws, or as Hart keeps repeating, “brothers-in-law,” as Hart’s character Ben Barber is engaged to marry James Payton’s (Ice Cube) sister Angela (Tika Sumpter). The comedy sequel picks up close enough to where the last film left off. Ben has graduated from the police academy and wants to become a detective just like James. For all anyone is aware, James pretty much can’t stand Ben, giving him the rough-edged, eyebrow-arching mean look at all times.
After catching a drug lord in Atlanta who seems to have much larger connections to several illegal trading, the two head down to Miami to find the source and team up with a Miami cop (Olivia Munn) and a man on the run from a man named Antonio Pope (Benjamin Bratt).
As far as comedies go, “Ride Along 2” is pretty average, if not a little on the underwhelming side. It serves to provide a few chuckles (and I mean a few), with one of the biggest laughs coming near the very end of the film, but it’s perhaps too involved with its own plot, which is pretty comical (if you break down how many times the police do whatever they want in order to get the bad guys, minus warrants, you’d be concerned, too). The comedy itself is run-of-the-mill and some appearances, like that of Sherri Shepherd as Hart’s wedding planner, you have to question why the whole shtick of him constantly arguing with her is really there. It could have done without her character and some other parts of the plot without really losing anything. After all, the plot itself doesn’t exactly rely on any logic, so it could have been more outrageous if it really wanted to.
Tika Sumpter is once again relegated to the sidelines, even though as a character she has more to offer than being the sister/fiance to the lead characters. She’s more there for eye candy, which is a shame. Olivia Munn and Ken Jeong are new additions to the cast, but they don’t help with the laughs at all. For all that the movie is a comedy, it comes off as pretty stale. Even Benjamin Bratt, who is the bad guy of the film, isn’t quite up to par, and his exaggerated accent isn’t as comical as it sounds.
Ice Cube and Kevin Hart have chemistry, but the film wastes most of it. The bromance is practically non-existent in a lot of cases. The comedy is tame and it doesn’t even feel like director Tim Story tried very hard to play anything for laughs. “Ride Along 2” is one those sequels that didn’t need to be made, but now that its existence can’t be argued, should have and could have been better than it is.