Kevin Hart starred opposite Josh Gad in The Wedding Ringer and Will Ferrell in Get Hard in 2015 alone, though the comedic actor's most lucrative mismatched buddy feature film to date is easily Ride Along. The latter movie paired Hart as a wannabe cop opposite Ice Cube as a hard-edged police officer (and brother to Hart's girlfriend), under the direction of Tim Story (who also directed Hart in the Think Like a Man films). Critics weren't so receptive to Ride Along, but Universal Pictures got the last laugh, as the movie ended up grossing just over $150 million worldwide on a $25 million budget.
This, in turn, inspired Universal to quickly green-light Ride Along 2, once again starring Hart and Cube, with Story calling the shots. Moviegoers will be able to watch the Ride Along 2 trailer on the big screen this weekend (with select prints of the Cube-produced biopic Straight Outta Compton), but the preview is now available for viewing online, too.
Ride Along 2 reunites Cube and Hart with their Ride Along costar Tika Sumpter, back as Angela Payton: the sister to the authoritative cop James Payton (Cube) and fiancée to newbie cop Ben Barber (Hart). The new cast additions include Olivia Munn (The Newsroom) and Ken Jeong (Community), with each playing an associate of James and Ben, who collaborates with them on a job that involves taking down a Miami-based drug kingpin (Benjamin Bratt, Law & Order) in the Ride Along 2 script penned by Ride Along co-writers Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi.
In case you missed it, here is the Ride Along 2 poster that dropped just a couple days before the trailer launch:
The Ride Along 2 trailer footage features riffs on other popular franchises like Fast & Furious (complete with a Tyrese Gibson appearance... in case the reference was too subtle, apparently), as well as buddy cop movies past (see the nod to the Bad Boys series), though it's largely devoted to Hart's shenanigans and Cube looking on in disapproval (and/or smacking his partner, as he deems necessary). In short, it appears Ride Along 2 is taking the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach to replicating the success of its lucrative action/comedy genre predecessor.
Story's first Ride Along became a commercial success back in 2014, partly because it offered comedy counter-programming during January. Ride Along 2 could enjoy a similar success in 2016, as the other new films that will be playing in theaters when it arrives - such as Michael Bay's thriller 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi or the animated sequel The Nut Job 2 - will be geared towards different audience demands. That assuming not too many filmgoers are suffering from Kevin Hart fatigue right now, anyway.
Ride Along 2 opens in U.S. theaters on January 15th, 2016.
Source: Universal Pictures
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