With the entry into a new year, there is a slight shift in the quality of box office contenders. Actually, a big shift. January is called the “graveyard of movies” for a good reason. It is the time between the award contenders pushing for a nomination and the point at which those movies are rewarded. “Ride Along” is one of the first to enter the box office, and hope for a winning weekend.
In theatres January 17 is the Kevin Hart, Ice Cube vehicle “Ride Along.” The film is about fast-talking security guard Ben Barber (Hart) who struggles to get the approval of his girlfriends tough as nails brother James Payton (Ice Cube). After being accepted into the police academy, Ben believes he deserves the respect of James, and after seeking his blessing to marry Angela (Tika Sumpter), is taken on a ride-along, made up ridiculous situations, until their path leads them directly to Atlanta’s biggest crime lord (Lawrence Fishburne).
Only having recently been exposed to Kevin Hart’s comedy, I only had a brief assumption as to the tone of the movie. I knew language would be a factor, and crude jokes in abundance. The former may be true, but the surprise lay in the lack of overtly crude humor, at least once the action got started.
‘Ride Along” allowed for Kevin Hart to engage in what may be his best kind of comedy, physical comedy. Whether shrieking in a suspects face manically or being propelled backwards from the recoil of a shotgun, those moments proved to be worth the laughs.
“Ride Along” is rated PG-13 for violence, sexual content and language. Its funny, fast paced and a surprisingly clean entry to this year’s comedy lineup, and gets a B, simply for the rocky start.