The Kevin Hart and Ice Cube comedy Ride Along may not have been the critical success everyone hoped it would be, but the box office draw of its two stars was enough for the film to break $100 million and, as such, receive a sequel. This time, however, there’s a very good chance that the return of Payton and Barber will be everything the first installment wasn't.
According to Deadline, Universal Pictures has already signed Ride Along director Tim Story for the sequel, and Cube and Hart are currently closing their deal to return. Think Like a Man producer Will Packer will also be returning, and Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi (R.I.P.D.) will be coming back to write the story – only this time things will be different: they’ll actually be able to write the story.
Ride Along started off as a script from Greg Coolidge (The Troop) and The League’s Jason Mantzoukas, and it was rumored that Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds were supposed to star as Cube and Hart’s characters, respectively. That clearly didn’t occur, and then Universal purchased the script from the original studio. Add more cooks (writers) to the pot (script), get Cube on board, stir the pot some more, get Hart on board, stir the pot some more, and then let Hart “do his thing” and film it – Ride Along: done.
This time, Hay and Manfredi will be able to start from scratch and write a script that plays better to the strengths of its two lead, which should result is a much more succinct story with action and comedy because they won’t have to rework someone else’s idea. Still, Deadline reporting that the sequel will have more action than first does cause some concern. Ride Along’s flaming truck-jump intro may be proof that there’s more than enough action in this franchise. What it needs is funny, and more of it.
In the 99-minute movie, it took about 40 minutes before the actual ride-along happened. Before that, Cube was being the best detective and Hart was being hilarious, independently. By the time the two finally paired up, each character already had their own defined world, and it became awkward when the two settings converged multiple times. Couple that with a generic case and the unfortunate cutting of John Leguizamo and Bryan Callen’s lines and there’s reason to hope for more.
Fortunately, with Hart’s recent film About Last Night receiving positive reviews, and Hart, Tim Story and Will Packer showing what they’ll be able to do with a sequel in June (Think Like a Man Too), the team should be all warmed up and ready when it comes time to film the second Ride Along. With this year turning out to be Year of Kevin Hart, don’t be surprised to hear other sequels, or new projects, being announced throughout.
Keep an eye on Screen Rant for news on Ride Along 2.