“Show me that you’re worthy of her!” –James Payton (Ice Cube)
Atlanta detective James Payton (Ice Cube) tests high school security guard, Ben Barber (Kevin Hart) as he bids for Payton’s sister’s hand in marriage. With the help of his cop friends, Santiago (John Leguizamo) and Miggs (Bryan Callen), Payton puts Barber through the ringer to see if he’s a good suit as his sister’s mate and as a police officer.
The movie was a lot funnier than I expected. After Grudge Match, I lost a little bit of hope for comedian Kevin Hart. Less than a month later, he has redeemed himself in Ride Along with his familiar goofy antics and silly repertory. Ben Barber was hyper-active, inappropriate, and hilarious; all the things we expect from Kevin Hart.
However, the only woman in the entire movie, besides soul singer Angie Stone, was a huge flop. Beautiful actress Tika Sumpter was one-dimensional in her role at Barber’s girlfriend and Payton’s sister, Angela. According to IMDb.com, movie director Tim Story (Think Like a Man, Fantastic Four, Barbershop) urged the cast to not follow the script exactly and improvise, but Tika Sumpter sounded scripted and was barely believable. Her sex appeal overshadowed her horrible acting because while it was hard to miss, Sumpter still managed to look fine and fluffy.
Other than “Are We There Yet” (2005), Ice Cube has consistently been paired with a comedian. In 1995, he paired up with Chris Tucker for the original “Friday”. In 2002, he sat beside Cedric the Entertainer in Barbershop. He’s also worked with Katt Williams twice, Tracy Morgan, and DeRay Davis. And Ice Cube clearly has an on-screen chemistry with Mike Epps for they’ve worked together on several projects such as “Next Friday” (2000), “Friday After Next” (2002), “All About The Benjamins” (2002) and “Janky Promoters” (2009).
Initially a rapper, Ice Cube successfully moonlighted as a reputable actor for 23 years now. But, let’s be honest! Ice Cube has convinced us that he can be a cute, cuddly dad or a gangsta from South Central LA, but he’s still at the bottom of the totem pole as a leading funny man. In Ride Along, when he tried to be funny, he came off corny. The West coast rapper was slightly reaching. I love O’Shea Jackson, so please don’t kill the messenger.
Without being a spoiler alert, I wonder if viewers will notice the many cameos. I gave you one already but Ride Along is jammed pack with noticeable actors, internet sensations, and radio hosts. The cameos are refreshing because while they are small parts, it is hard to forget their presence on the big screen.
3 Not Too Shabby Stars