Ride Along stars comedian Kevin Hart as Ben, a high school security guard who intends to marry the love of his life, Angela (Tika Sumpter). The only problem is he needs the approval of her overbearing, hot-tempered older brother, James (Ice Cube), who also happens to be a decorated Atlanta police detective who looks down upon the unmanly Ben as a potential suitor.
So, to prove his worth, Ben decides to join the APD, but even after being accepted, he still has to pass James’ final test, which is a 24-hour “ride along.” The ensuing Training Day-like experience becomes one neither will ever forget, as the designed practice run turns into real life danger in the criminal underworld of Atlanta.
Directed by Tim Story (Think Like a Man), this latest entry into the buddy cop comedy sub-genre also stars John Leguizamo (Kick-Ass 2), Bryan Callen (The Hangover), Bruce McGill (Rizzoli & Isles) and Laurence Fishburne (Hannibal).
Based on the trailer (above), Ride Along presents us with the classic straight man/comedic foil set-up. We see Kevin Hart playing a version of his onstage persona – a fast-talking wise guy with a penchant for the over-dramatic – while Cube is as cool as ever, playing the tough-as-nails police force veteran.
However, just because the set-up is familiar, doesn’t mean it won’t work. In the past few years, we’ve seen some genre entries get the formula just right (21 Jump Street), but then again, we’ve seen some major duds, too (Cop Out), and films that fall somewhere in between (The Heat).
The success of a buddy cop comedy usually relies on the chemistry between the leads, and what’s promising here is that Hart and Cube seem to work pretty well off each other. While Cube appears to be accessing some of that machismo he dished out on Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in 21 Jump Street, Hart appears to be bringing his signature physical comedy skills and improvisational abilities to the table.
Obviously, the hope is that putting their mismatched characters together in intense and zany situations will produce big laughs. And though this is just a short tease of the finished product, we’re liking what we’re seeing so far – as is Universal, who is reportedly already at work on a sequel after seeing a rough cut of the movie. That’s certainly a good sign for moviegoers.
Check out Ride Along when it hits theaters on January 17th, 2014.