Review: Ride Along 2 is marginally disappointing

From left, Ice Cube as James Payton, Olivia Munn as Maya Cruz, and Kevin Hart as Ben Barber are shown in a scene from the film “Ride Along 2.” (AP Photo)
From left, Ice Cube as James Payton, Olivia Munn as Maya Cruz, and Kevin Hart as Ben Barber are shown in a scene from the film “Ride Along 2.” (AP Photo)

Let’s rewind back to MLK weekend 2014!  Just two years ago, Ride Along, starring Ice Cube and Kevin Hart, was the number one movie for three weeks in a row.  The film was the largest debut in MLK weekend box office history, earning $48.6 million.
Fast forward to today, in less than 24 months, Detective James Payton (Cube) and his future brother-in-law, Ben (Hart), are back and fighting crime together in Miami.
Ride Along 2 was pretentious. Hit hard by the sophomore jinx, the film failed to reach the same laughter and excitement as the first one.  I just expected more.
Ken Jeong was a nice added bonus.  But, the few chuckles he provided did not make up for the predictable plot and Ice Cube’s corny punch lines.  Again, I not only expected more, I wanted more.
Ice Cube, whose resume reeks of sequel, likes to keep a good thing going.  The NWA rapper did it with “Friday” (1995), “Are We There Yet?” (2005), “Barbershop” (2002), and “21 Jump Street” (2012).
Despite my obvious dislike, the numbers don’t lie.  Ride Along 2 came out victorious opening weekend with earnings of $41.5 million.  The comedy finally knocked “Stars Wars: The Force Awakens” out of the number one spot, which had been holding onto the top spot since its December 18th release.
Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, and Universal Pictures are excellent at marketing, specifically on social media. Both superstars already have a huge fan bases in life and on social media. So, between the press tour, social media posts, and the first Ride Along the sequel had a decent recipe for success.
Ice Cube was on my timeline every single day, pressing hard for this movie.  The strong push paid off.
Overall, the actual movie was not die hard funny at all but I could appreciate the quick giggles I did receive.
2 Stars for the 2 laughs
Merecedes J. Howze, Movie Scene Queen (Brian Cook/Golden Sky Media)
Merecedes J. Howze, Movie Scene Queen (Brian Cook/Golden Sky Media)

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