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Friday
Jan172014

Movie Review: "Ride Along"

Universal(NEW YORK) -- How good is Kevin Hart?  He’s so good, he can carry a dumb comedy like Ride Along on his diminutive shoulders and turn it into something watchable and funny.

Hart plays Ben, a high school security guard and wannabe cop who also wants to marry his girlfriend, Angela (Tika Sumpter).  But there’s an obstacle: Angela’s police officer brother, James (Ice Cube), hates Ben because Ben, apparently, once set him on fire at a family barbeque.  Although let’s face it: James would’ve hated Ben either way, as it seems he clearly hates anyone who dates his sister.

When Ben finally summons the courage to ask James for his sister’s hand in marriage, James fantasizes about shooting Ben dead right on the spot.  Instead, he has a better idea.  If Ben can survive a police ride-along with him, James will consider giving Ben his blessing.  In the meantime, James is also trying to track down a notorious arms dealer named Omar, whom no one has ever actually seen.  

Will Ben win over James?  Will James find Omar?  It doesn’t really matter.  The fact that there’s a serious plot line in which James is trying to catch a despicable criminal is almost funnier than any of the movie’s best jokes.  It’s also quite predictable, but what makes Ride Along enjoyable is Hart.  While I wouldn’t want to see him host another awards show (see the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards), I do love the guy whenever he shows up in a movie, and in Ride Along he doesn’t just show up, he makes this comedy worth watching. 

Three out of five stars.

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