Movie Dude: Ride Along

Posted by | On February 07, 2014 | Leave a comment | Under: Columnists, Columns, Movie Dude, Mr. Movie Dude

by Mr. Movie Dude | ARCHIVES

Kevin Hart fans hold on to your seat as Ride Along delivers the knockout punch of entertainment, laughs-per-minute, and the sensational chemistry of Ice Cube and Kevin Hart. It reminded me of the early years of action-comedy movies like, 48 Hours, Trading Places, Bad Boys and Bad Boys 2. These classic buddy comedy action movies work so well with two people in conflicted situations just being funny. The action comes out blazing from the first scene with a shootout and motorcycles crashing through glass.

Kevin Hart (“Think Like A Man”, “Let Me Explain”), a fast-talking, jumpy security guard, joins his potential brother-in-law James Payton actor-rapper Ice Cube (“Barbershop”, “21 Jump Street”), an Atlanta Police Department detective, on a 24-hour patrol of Atlanta in order to prove himself worthy of marrying Angela, James’s sister. James is a loner detective with the Atlanta Police Department who thinks his full-time job is overprotective big brother to his sister, Angela. Angela played by actress, Tika Sumpter ( “Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas”, “Tyler Perry’s The Have and Have Nots”) plays Ben’s superhot girlfriend that adores the ground he walks on.

The patrol begins to turn into a real case as James finds clues that he thinks will lead to potential closure of the 3 year case he has been working against the mysterious criminal known only as “Omar.” Ben is a video-game obsessed competitor with dreams of becoming an Atlanta policeman is accepted into the police academy training. Ben plans to propose to Angela but hardcore detective James isn’t having anything to do with the “smurf-size” wannabe cop. James is very protective of his sister because of her harsh up bringing in a foster home.

James sets Ben up for a day of embarrassing pranks typically played on rookie cops. The series of incidents proves repeatedly humiliating for Ben, but the odd thing is that he keeps turning up clues on James’ investigation of Serbia arms dealers and a developing plot to supply one of Atlanta’s most notorious criminals. Then James hits on a scheme he thinks will finally discourage Ben, saying he’ll give the wannabe cop a chance to prove he’s a really police department material by surviving a ride-along in James’ department-issued black Dodge Charger muscle car. “You’ve got one day and one day only to show me what you got,” James tells him. Ben jumps at the chance to show his value, although he quickly begins to wonder if he’s made the best choice when he’s plunged into James’s sketchy investigation of a local gun-running crime lord. Ben’s video game superiority becomes a valuable asset in James’ solving a 3 year-old mystery crime spree.

Joining Cube and Hart for the action-comedy are John Leguizamo (“The Lincoln Lawyer”, “Kick-Ass 2″) and Bryen Cullen (“The Hangover”, “Warrior”) as Santiago and Miggs, James’ fellow officers on the police force; Bruce McGill (“Lincoln”, “Collateral”) as Lieutenant Brooks headed the team of detectives; and Laurence Fishburne (“The Matrix”, “Man of Steel”) as Omar, the mysterious ruler of the crime-ridden underworld. In supporting roles in “Ride Along” are Gary Owen (“Think Like a Man”) as Crazy Cody, the worst kind of call to get for a newbie cop; Jacob Latimore (“Black Nativity”) as the soon-to-be-delinquent Ramon; Jay Pharaoh  (“Saturday Night Live”) as the even shadier Runflat; Benjamin ‘Lil P-Nut’ Flores, JR. (“Haunted Hathaways”) as Morris The Kid, Runflat’s brother; and Dragos Bucur (The Way Back) as Omar’s second-in-command-thug, Marko. Director Tim Story (the director of the blockbuster comedy “Think Like A Man”) is supported in the film by producers Will Packer (“Think Like a Man”, “Obsessed”), Cube, Matt Alvarez (“Are We There Yet?”, “The Longshots”) and Larry Brenzer (The Greatest Game Ever Played, Good Morning, Vietnam).

The filmmakers craft Ride Along from a story by Greg Coolidge (“Employee of the Month”), and a screenplay by Coolidge and Jason Mantzoukas (TV’s Children’s Hospital) and Phil Hay & Matt Manfredi (“Clash of the Titans”). The behind-the scene crew is led by a group of longtime collaborators and a crew new to the team, including director of photographer Larry Blanford (“Think Like a Man”) , upcoming “No Good Deed”, editor Craig Alpert (“Borat”, “Knocked Up”) and composer Christopher Lennertz (“Horrible Bosses”, “Think Like a Man”). Ride Along is executive produced by Nicolas Stern (“Warm Bodies”), Ron Muhammad (“First Sunday”), Chris Bender (“The Hangover”) and JC Spink (“We’re The Millers”).

Cube describes his James’ stunts and action: “You have to build up the character as that guy who will do whatever it takes to get the job done. It just sets it up for everything that’s going to happen in the movie.” Cube shares how the action-comedy made its way to Universal Pictures: “The movie had been over at New Line, but it just wasn’t coming together. Then we started getting more traction and heard that Kevin Hart loved the script, and I admired his stand-up a lot. So we came to Universal with the movie; then we got Kevin and our director, Tim Story. They worked together on Think Like a Man, and I worked with Tim on Barbershop, so we’re getting the band back together.”

Hart admits that he learned a lot after he was cast to perform by Cube’s side: “Seeing how engaged he is with his work, how committed he is to this project—he’s a polished actor and a professional. Cube is who you want to be when you evolve to a certain level in your career. For me, it was more of an education.”

Sumpter shares that when acting with a comic, you must be prepared for the unexpected. “They change things; they’re like, ‘Well, let’s try this way.’ So you get to exercise your brain through these mental challenges. That said, all I did was laugh most of the time.”

Box Office:
The film’s 3-day opening weekend gross was $41,516,170 in 2,663 US and Canadian theaters (an average $15,590 per theater gross), giving Ride Along the record for highest domestic opening weekend gross in the month of January ahead of 2008’s Cloverfield. For the 4-day MLK Holiday weekend, the film grossed $48,626,380. The production budget cost $25,000,000 to film and thus far generated a walloping $110,000,000 worldwide. Stunner Baby Magazine reports that the studio is buzzing about a sequel to the film, with the script written by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi. Production is to start immediately after the release of first film in January 2014.





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Subscribe Now!