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Ride Along 2 (3/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 101 minutes

OK for children.í                                                                                 

Letís get to the positive. This is a comedy that contains no F bombs or other guttural language favored by smutmeisters like Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen, whose humor isnít funny, itís just the constant repetition of vulgar language. So hurrah to director Tim Story and writers Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi.

When I was 10 years old I thought that Jerry Lewis of Martin & Lewis was the funniest thing ever. I couldnít wait to see them on the old Colgate Comedy Hour on NBC. But when I see those old clips now, I can see why Dean Martin couldnít wait to break away. Jerry wasnít funny; he was just silly. And thatís the problem with Kevin Hart. I havenít seen his standup but I have seen these two movies and his silliness is so off-putting itís excruciating to sit through.

The idea is the same as the first one, Ben Barber (Hart) is engaged to the sister of detective James Payton (Ice Cube). Whereas in the first one he was a cop wannabe, here he has graduated from police academy and is on a standard one year probation. Somehow he is assigned to Payton and sent to Miami (from Atlanta) to investigate some bad guys.

Ben is just a pain in the butt, doing one stupid thing after another. Worse, he never shuts up. There were people laughing at my screening, but I canít help but believe they were shills because every time Ben opens his mouth heís nothing but annoying.

Thatís too bad because this could have been a pretty good police story of Payton tracking down bad guy Antonio Pope (Benjamin Bratt) who everyone thinks is a pillar of society when heís actually a vicious criminal.

Ice Cube and Bratt give fine performances and the cinematography of Miami is beautiful. Without Hart this would have been much more entertaining.