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Ride Along (AF)


Stars: Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, Tika Sumpter, Laurence Fishburne, John Leguizamo, Bruce McGill, Bryan Callen, Dragos Bucur, Gary Owen

Director: Tim Story

I found the best thing about this laugh a minute comedy (unfortunately, I must have blinked that minute and missed the laugh) were the end credits.

Sadly they turned up far too late to save the show.

I assume the show was designed to showcase two key aspects, the first of them being the comic talents of Kevin Hart.

For my money (and I would happily have paid to leave the preview) Hart’s leaden attempts at humour, put over with with all the laugh-making élan of a post mortem, hardly rate as “talents”.

Secondly (which allows the star to share the blame) four writers (I name the guilty parties - Greg Coolidge, Jason Mantazoukas, Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi - are credited with the witless blend of mostly unfunny dialogue and unsubtle action to match.

The plot finds high school security guard Hart joining decorated Atlanta cop Ice Cube on a night shift, the idea being that real-life crime, instead of the video games to which Hart is addicted, will scare the hell out of the security guard and so end his romance with Ice Cube’s sister…

Cue a seemingly endless outburst of pratfalls, action and alleged comedy put over with noisy gusto and little else by director Tim Story. To give the efficient if style-free Story his due, he could probably put across an entertaining story - provided he had a good script to work from.

He hasn’t.

Think Training Day without wit, entertainment value or Denzel Washington. Ride Along cries out for a fast-forward button.

And if you still fancy seeing it, think ‘Crime and Punishment’ – the subject may be crime, but sitting through the film is punishment. Unless, of course, you are able to get to sleep despite the on-screen racket.

(Still, if only to prove reviewers don’t always know what cinemagoers enjoy, Ride Along made a lot of money at the US box-office).

Alan Frank

USA 2013. UK Distributor: Universal. Colour by deluxe.
99 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 07 Mar 2014