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Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » Ride Along 2 (Blu-ray)
Ride Along 2 (Blu-ray)
Universal // PG-13 // April 26, 2016 // Region A
List Price: $34.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by William Harrison | posted April 23, 2016 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
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P R I N T
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THE FILM:

Click an image to view Blu-ray screenshot with 1080p resolution.

I said it in my Blu-ray review for Ride Along and I'll say it again: I like Ice Cube and Kevin Hart. But that movie and its sequel, Ride Along 2, offer little to recommend. I even like buddy-cop movies like Lethal Weapon and Rush Hour. The difference? Those movies are funny and exciting, while Ride Along 2 lacks memorable action and is almost totally devoid of humor. Olivia Munn and Benjamin Bratt join this sequel in thankless roles, and Director Tim Story returns to shoot another paint-by-numbers bore. If there is a third Ride Along, count me out.

Detective James Payton (Ice Cube) and his future brother-in-law, rookie officer Ben Barber (Kevin Hart), travel to Miami to hunt down crime boss Antonio Pope (Benjamin Bratt). They work with local homicide detective Maya Cruz (Olivia Munn) and Pope's excommunicated tech guy, A.J. (Ken Jeong), to nail Pope, who continues to pose as a legitimate businessman. Payton rags on the inexperienced and careless Barber, who occasionally manages to extradite the pair from dangerous situations, usually by accident. If you've seen the first film you know what to expect. The story means little, and Ride Along 2 is mostly a vehicle for Ice Cube and Hart's comedic talents, which are unfortunately wasted on this watered-down, PG-13 affair.

That rating might be one of this franchise's biggest problems. Neither Cube nor Hart excels at family-friendly comedy, and that is exactly what they are forced to deliver in these movies. Sure, there are sexual references, mild profanity and violent scenes in Ride Along 2, but it's a movie shot for adolescent males. They'll likely enjoy it, and will never read this review. For everyone else, Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi's script will fall flat. This 101-minute movie feels like it runs three hours because absolutely nothing works. There is a running joke that Bratt's generic crime boss always asks his henchmen to kill disloyal employees after he has promised not to kill them. Not funny. Neither is Jeong, who seems to be stuck playing his same character from The Hangover.

Superficial and creatively stunted, Ride Along 2 does not bother to explore its characters past a surface-level glimpse. Those hoping to learn what makes Payton tick will be disappointed, and I still do not understand how Hart's obnoxious, bumbling Barber landed a woman like fiancee Tika Sumpter (Angela Payton). The Cube/Hart pairing should be solid, but it is even more grating this go-round. It's not for lack of trying either, because the actors do their best to stage witty banter and funny dialogues. They are given nothing to work with, and Story has no shame staging his movie around the highlights from every buddy cop movie ever. Munn is too good for this crap, and I was embarrassed for her throughout. I guess this is one way to blow $40 million. Seems like a waste of cash to me.

THE BLU-RAY:

PICTURE:

The image is strong, of course, and the 2.40:1/1080p/AVC-encoded transfer boasts strong fine-object detail and excellent clarity. Colors are bold and nicely saturated, black levels are good, and shadow detail is abundant. Pans are crystal clear, wide shots are miles deep, and I noticed no issues with compression artifacts or edge enhancement.

SOUND:

The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix is also strong, with plenty of sound pans and action effects to surround the viewer. The popular music soundtrack is weighty and nicely balanced, and the subwoofer is used frequently. Dialogue is clear and without distortion, ambient effects, like crowd noise and background music, are lightly immersive, and action effects, like gunfire and car chases, are boisterous and nicely integrated. Spanish and French 5.1 DTS tracks are included, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

PACKAGING AND EXTRAS:

This is a two-disc "combo pack" that includes the Blu-ray, a DVD copy and codes to redeem both iTunes and UltraViolet HD digital copies. A slipcover wraps the Blu-ray case. There are a number of extras: You get a chatty Commentary by Director Tim Story; some Deleted Scenes (8:44 total/HD); Ride Along With Us (1:48/HD), a short spoof; and Behind the Scenes of Ride Along With Us (1:24/HD). Next you have the Ride Along Roundtable (15:52/HD), with cast and crew participation; The Ride Diaries (20:28/HD), the disc's making-of segments; Kevin and Cube: Brothers-In-Law (6:52/HD); The New Recruits (6:21/HD); Inside Black Hammer Vision (3:24/HD); Ride Along With Kevin Hart (5:26/HD); and Cori's Wedding Commercial (1:36/HD). Boom.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

I do not even have a clever remark about not wanting to join this Ride Along. Tim Story's sequel is a generic, unfunny buddy-cop comedy that wastes the talents of Ice Cube and Kevin Hart. This is what happens when no one tries to excel. Skip It.


Additional screenshots:

William lives in Burlington, North Carolina, and looks forward to a Friday-afternoon matinee.

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