|Review by Benn Robbins|
Sequels in general usually are pretty crappy.
Of course you can get the occasional Godfather Part II or Road Warrior.
Hell, you can even find a Bad Boys 2 or even Lethal Weapon 2 to be almost as good as the original. But normally sequels fall into the Mummy 2 or Speed 2: Cruise Control realm. i.e. TERRIBLE.
Which brings us to Ride Along 2.
It is not TERRIBLE!
What it is is the inevitable and somewhat enjoyable return of the “Brothers-in-Law” as the tag phrase of the film so pun-fully touts. RA2 is about as fun as the first.
Neither ground breaking or visually challenging, it is more of the same. That isn’t entirely a bad thing, but like I wrote in my review for the original film, “it isn’t going to be winning any awards”.
What it does do is gives the audience a safe, fun action film. Buddy cop meets family-tension comedy.
Ben Barber (Kevin Hart) and Detective James Payton (Ice Cube) return as two soon-to-be brother in laws who now are sort of partners on the Atlanta police force. Hart, who was had just joined the police academy in the first film is now a probationary officer waiting to become full time, though it is still not clear why he is going along with Ice Cube on these detective cases. But hey, why question it?
When their bust “goes pear-shaped” and their only lead is a computer hacker named A.J., played by Dr. Ken Jeong, in Miami. The two have to go all Bad Boys meets Lethal Weapon 2 all over The Magic City. Jeong plays the perfect Leo Goetz to their good cop, bad cop, suspect comedy love triangle.
They acquire the assistance of bad ass detective, Olivia Munn as Maya who helps them try and take down the kind of sort of dangerous bad guy, Antonio Pope, played by the awesome Benjamin Bratt. They need to solve the case fast and get back to Hotlanta so Ben, can marry James’s super hot sister, Angela played by Tika Sumpter.
Director Tim Story took what worked for him in the first Ride Along film and continues to give us more action, more humor, and more of what he knows how to do well. The audience I saw it with seemed to love it. They laughed and cheered at all the right spots.
Ride Along 2 isn’t going to dethrone Star Wars: The Force Awakens anytime soon, but what it will do is give the audience a fun ride if they choose to go and see it. And comic genius Ken Jeong is the perfect addition to the franchise that elevates the entertainment factor. Take that BB-8.