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Review: Ice Cube, Hart not enough to make 'Ride' worth taking

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Ride Along plays out exactly as anyone going into the movie would expect.

Ice Cube scowls a lot.

Kevin Hart is suitably funny.

Lastly it’s a by-the-numbers buddy cop flick. Nothing more. All right, so there’s a little more than that. Ride Along, which opens today (Jan. 17), possesses the one thing necessary to make a movie in this genre tolerable – chemistry between the two leads.

In this case, there isn’t a lot left to hang on to. That’s because Ride Along is all too predictable right down to the in-jokes and the insults directed at the vertically challenged Hart.

Hart portrays a cop wannabe Ben, who just happens to be dating Angela (Tika Sumpter), the sister of a current police detective, James (Ice Cube) who works in Atlanta.

James isn’t a Ben fan and when he proposes to Angela, things get real – as in James isn’t thrilled. And he has the perfect idea for preventing any nuptials.

He tells Ben, who was recently accepted to the police academy, that he has to survive a day as a ride along to get his blessing. Ben, gung-ho dweeb that he is, takes it as a personal challenge.

What he doesn’t realize is that James is in the midst of tracking a criminal who lives and operates in the shadows and Ben gets caught up in the middle of the chase.

Had the movie focused more on Ben, James and their squabble, director Tim Story (the Fantastic Four films) would have something a tad more compelling on his hands.

As it stands he walks a very familiar, ho-hum path. It’s formulaic and the laughs provided by Hard and Ice Cube don’t come nearly fast enough to save the movie.

Movie: Ride Along
Director: Tim Story
Cast: Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, Laurence Fishburne, John Leguizamo
Studio: Universal Studios
Rated: PG-13 for sequences of violence, sexual content and brief strong language.
Running time: 100 minutes
George’s rating: 2.5-of-5 stars
Check for theaters and showtimes at Atlas Cinemas, Cleveland Cinemas, Fandango.com and MovieTickets.com

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