Kevin Hart saves 'Ride Along' from being a totally useless comedy flick.
There's very little ambition apparent on-screen in the buddy action-comedy Ride Along, with its lazy direction and slack script. But the filmmakers clearly knew they had lightning in a bottle in co-star Kevin Hart, so they let him run free with his fast-paced comical banter. This merely required Ice Cube to look short-tempered. And in America the film topped the box office for three weeks in January and February.
Kevin Hart [L] and Ice Cube [R] in 'Ride Along'
The studio will be hoping for a similar bump as the film rolls out across Europe over the next month. And after the demands of those awards season movies, audiences might just be in the mood for a movie they can watch without engaging their brains.
Mindless buddy movies have a long history of box office success, starting with Laurel and Hardy in the 1930s. This gained serious steam in the 1980s and 1990s with multiracial pairings in films like Lethal Weapon, 48 Hrs, Beverly Hills Cop and Rush Hour. More recent buddy movies have tried to break the mould, such as the female duo in last summer's breakout hit The Heat.
Ride Along harks back to safer, sillier filmmaking. So even if the critics hated it, giving it a lowly 18% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, audiences have been more generous with 69%. In other words, sometimes you don't want a movie to make any sense; you just want to laugh and watch things blow up.