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Ride Along 2


Stars: Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, Ken Jeong, Benjamin Bratt, Olivia Munn, Bruce McGill, Tika Sumpter, Sherri Shepherd

Director: Tim Story

When in doubt and seeking profit rather than praise, simply follow the proven Hollywood formula of reusing as many of the basic ingredients of the original hit movie as possible while sticking to the mood and mode of the first hit - and then simply call the reboot a sequel.

Should you need proof, here it is.

Ride Along 2 may have received even less critical appeal than a screening without catering and garnered hostile reviews all the way.

But it has proved to be profitably critic proof and overtaken both The Revenant and the Star Wars reboot to capture first place on the US weekend box-office charts.

Regrettably I am not the target audience for an alleged comic duo who by comparison make Abbott and Costello at their most moronic resemble National Theatre luvvies at their most acclaimed.

Ice Cube returns as tough Atlanta cop James Payton, still saddled with motormouth Kevin Hart playing his putative brother-in-law. In Ride Along two years ago security guard Hart made moronically merry with Ice Cube. Now we get more of the stupid same as Hart, now a rookie cop and days away from his wedding to Cube's sister and determined to make detective, cons Cube into allowing him to come to Miami to bring down a major drug ring…

Cue lashings of corn far higher than an elephant’s eye, severely silly slapstick and alleged comedy far dumber than Dumb and Dumber, could ever have envisaged in their wildest nightmares.

It’s completely crass (think putting the ‘arse’ into ‘farse’) and put across with enough wasted energy to light up Liverpool for a week, and raising fewer laughs than Leonardo DiCaprio snuggling up inside a disemboweled horse.

But give director Tim Story his due. He serves up tsunamis of silliness at a fast and fatuous pace and sensibly spices up the show with such catalysts as shoe-eating alligator, noisy shootouts, car chases and assorted action that I imagine he hoped would take people’s minds off the drivel soaring across the scene.

Ken Jeong of The Hangover adds sweet and sour ham to the show and Law and Order veteran Benjamin Bratt deserves praise for making his evil drug-lord the most entertaining character in the whole stupid show.

Alan Frank

USA 2016. UK Distributor: Universal. Colour by deluxe.
101 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

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

Review date: 20 Jan 2016