Stand-up comedy fans have been aware of Kevin Hart’s signature stage presence and self-deprecating humor for years now, but after landing supporting roles in several major comedies, including The Five-Year Engagement and Think Like a Man, moviegoers have begun to become acquainted with one of comedy’s brightest stars. And next year, they should plan on seeing even more of Hart, who is set to appear in Grudge Match, About Last Night, and is starring in the upcoming buddy cop flick, Ride Along.

In Ride Along, Hart plays a high school security guard named Ben who, in order to be granted permission to marry his love, Angela (Tika Sumpter), must first earn the respect of her disapproving older brother, James (Ice Cube), a seasoned Atlanta Police Department detective. However, even after Ben finally gets accepted to the academy, James challenges him to one final test: a 24-hour “ride along” through the roughest parts of Atlanta.

We got our first look at the film a few months back, via a teaser trailer, but got a peek at more of the movie this week with the release of its official theatrical trailer. Check it out above.

While many of the teaser’s highlights – including the shotgun bit – are included in this extended clip, the new trailer offers up more glimpses of the film’s action and of Hart’s performance. Based on the plot synopsis alone, we knew the ride along would go awry, but after seeing plenty of gunplay, street fights and exploding buildings, we have a real sense of just how much trouble Ben gets into when he enters Atlanta’s criminal underworld.

For fans of Hart’s comedy, the funniest scenes in the trailer will likely be ones in which he attempts to act as a tough guy. Since much of his best stand-up material is based around jokes about his size and the concept of manliness our culture often associates with fighting and aggression, these scenes and the film in general seem to play to Hart’s strengths as a comic performer. The scene in which he gets punked by the little kid is perhaps the best addition from the original teaser.

However, for any buddy cop comedy to truly work, the two leads need to play well off each other. While it’s too early to tell if that’s the case here, things are certainly set up for some hilarious interplay. We’ll just have to wait and see if Hart and Cube’s chemistry produces enough laughs and box office dollars to warrant the sequel that Universal reportedly already has in the works.

Directed by Tim Story (Think Like a Man), Ride Along also stars John Leguizamo (Kick-Ass 2), comedian Bryan Callen (The Hangover), and Bruce McGill (Rizzoli & Isles).

Check out Ride Along when it hits theaters on January 17th, 2014.

Source: Yahoo! Movies