Ride Along 2 is a classic cop movie which adds nothing new to the genre. It features the stereotypical “good cop, bad cop” routine, where the bad cop is terrible at his job. The two stars of the movie are Kevin Heart (Ben) and the rapper Ice Cube (the “good cop” James).
The film itself feels like a longer version of a hip-hop music video: it objectifies beautiful women, particularly during the time the movie is set in Miami, features expensive cars (which it is highly unlikely that police officers could realistically afford), and the soundtrack consists mostly of hip-hop songs. Sometimes this works very well, as Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” is used ironically for comic effect. However, most of the comic scenes in the film fall flat, although the Kevin Heart tries valiantly to make a fool out of himself by doing over the top things, such as falling into a chicken-pen when he is trying to catch a criminal.
There is one strong female character in the movie, Maya (Olivia Munn), yet she is portrayed as an angry and sullen homicide detective. She is James’s love interest in the film, and they bond over their mutual dislike for Ben. Unfortunately, the romance does not convince the audience.
Furthermore, it is a movie of questionable morality, as the two cops are seen breaking and entering, gate-crashing a party, forming a partnership with the criminal A.J. (Ken Jeong), and destroying several cars and properties. They are also very trigger happy, and a line that stands out in the movie is “say that again and I’ll shoot you in the face”.
What saves this movie is its director, Tim Story, whose use of cinematography is very efficient and cool. An episode that particularly stands out is the use of video-game graphics during a car chase, which ties in with a scene earlier in the film when Ben plays Grand Theft Auto. In the end, Ride Along 2 is basically a movie where Kevin Heart and Ice Cube are being Kevin Heart and Ice Cube.