21 Tracks/Disc Time: 43:02
"Ride Along" was the surprise hit action-comedy that was released by Universal Pictures in January riding the hot coat tails of comedian Kevin Hart ("About Last Night"), who's teamed up with rapper/veteran actor Ice Cube, whose films, "Friday" and "Barbershop" are still one of his greatest achievements on the big screen. Hart plays Ben Barber, a fast talking security guard who's in love with Angela (Tika Sumpter) the sister of a hard as nails Atlanta police detective, James Payton (Ice Cube) who thinks that Ben is just all wrong for her. So Ben volunteers to go on a "ride along" with James one night in order to prove that he's worthy of marrying his sister and along the way, they both end up trusting each other as they go through the motions and battle criminals as they try to get through the night, if they don't kill each other first. The film co-stars John Leguizamo and Laurence Fishburne and will make its' Blu-Ray/DVD and digital debut on April 15th.
With a buddy film such as this one, you need a musical sound that would evoke the feelings or contemporary moods of the story. Like the late Michael Kamen had given Mel Gibson and Danny Glover for the "Lethal Weapon" and Alan Silvestri gave to both Robert DeNiro and Eddie Murphy gave a big sound to while keeping a hip, contemporary sound to the comedy "Showtime". Now we have Christopher Lennertz adding his musical talents to this film which of course, features a contemporary urban street sound mixed with a traditional action-comedy score that works for those who enjoy scores such as these and well done as this one is.
Starting early with the hip hop beats of "Ride Along" that establish the themes of the score as well as the score's basic essence leading to more light and comedic material in "Ben's First Ride Along", "Police Academy Acceptance", "Ben's Goodbye's", "Crazy Cody", and "Strip Club Drama" that perfectly blend this style with the comedy aspects that Lennertz concentrates on and in particular that of Kevin Hart's character whose theme of the score is easily recognized by the style and tone that Lennertz has established for him. The score also features some very cool suspense action material starting with "Serbian Negotiations", "Car Chase", "Drive To Wherehouse", "Apartment Fight", "Shootout" and "Angela Held Hostage" that really is some of the score's best material and brings out the best in Lennertz in mixing the hip hop beats in with the full complimentary orchestra to give it a bigger sound and alot of sonic punch and really making it stand out.
Varese Sarabande's score album features a generous amount of music considering the film was peppered with alot of hip-hop and rap music that fit the film like a glove and Lennertz's music took a little back seat to the source material at times. His score is one of the better ones of the genre and a fun little listen that is smooth and by the numbers. For most it will be an album that will be enjoyed for fans of the film as well of that of Lennertz's music which is always very solid and for fans of style of action scores that are happening today. Marginal but very affectionate thumbs up.