“There’s nothing new under the sun,” goes the adage, whose original speaker could not have predicted the dire, carbon copying tendencies of Hollywood. The new comedy Ride Along is a essentially a Training Day Mad Libs, filled out with nonsense words and that goes so far as to acknowledge its own derivativeness by nodding directly to Training Day. The movie’s Xerox-style screenwriting would be completely forgiven if Ride Along’s comedic aspirations strove beyond that of a Two and a Half Men episode. But it’s just not funny.
The latest from Fantastic Four and Barbershop director Tim Story is a simple, comfortable vehicle for its two stars — the Subaru Sedan of comedy setups. Ice Cube and Kevin Hart are two funny gents, the latter’s comedy career snowballing with every passing project. Ride Along should be riff city for the duo; And yet, as a “badass” detective whose thrown out the book and a budding police academy student killing himself to impress, their combined powers couldn’t be flatter. Cube is devoid of personality; Hart works double time to compensate; Together, they keep the cop car running in neutral.