Action Blu-ray Review

'Ride Along 2' Blu-ray Review: Ride, or die laughing

April 26, 2016Ben MK

One look at Kevin Hart's IMDB filmography, and you might notice that the comedian has developed a penchant for the buddy comedy. From co-starring with Will Ferrell in Get Hard to partnering up with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson for the upcoming Central Intelligence, Hart has carved out a nice little niche for himself as a sidekick of sorts. Now he's going back to where this trend began, re-teaming with Ice Cube for the sequel to their 2014 hit, Ride Along.

Whereas the first film was set in Atlanta, Ride Along 2 takes a cue from Michael Bay's Bad Boys franchise, moving the action to sunny Miami, Florida, where newly-minted police officer Ben Barber (Hart) and his partner/soon-to-be brother-in-law Detective James Payton (Ice Cube) must team up with local law enforcement (Olivia Munn) to take down ruthless shipping tycoon/drug kingpin Antonio Pope (Benjamin Bratt). To do so, however, they'll need the help of a hacker named AJ (Ken Jeong), who also happens to be on Pope's hit list, thanks to a poorly-planned embezzlement scheme.

What follows deviates little from the established formula of Hart and Ice Cube's first outing with director Tim Story and screenwriters Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi. The duo have an entertaining odd-couple chemistry together, and when you throw Jeong and Munn into the mix, the result is no less worse for wear. That being said, Ride Along 2 doesn't offer much beyond the core premise of Hart and Ice Cube bickering while doing their best to dodge bullets and outrun the bad guys, so if that notion doesn't strike you as all that appealing, you'll find precious little else in the movie that will.

Otherwise, Ride Along 2 is decent, if only in an afternoon matinee kind of way. Cut from the same cloth as movies like Rush Hour 2 and 22 Jump Street, it offers more of the same buddy-cop routine as its predecessor, while slightly upping the ante in terms of its action set-pieces. Make no mistake, this is still a fairly forgettable piece of filmmaking, but, nonetheless, it's still fun while it lasts. Don't bother wasting brain cells overthinking it; just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Ride Along 2's Blu-ray technical presentation is everything a new release ought to be, with the scenery shift from Atlanta to Miami resulting in an abundance of shots featuring blue skies, sandy beaches and lush, green palm trees, not to mention a colorful array of sports cars and bikinis. All of this eye candy is handled brilliantly by the film's 1080p transfer, which boasts vibrant hues, crisp detailing and precise contrast levels, whether it's a scene set inside a neon-lit nightclub or a car chase along the beachfront. Nicely complementing the visuals is a lively and well-balanced DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack, which doles out a healthy mix of gunshots, explosions and wailing police sirens, not to mention a bass-thumping assortment of hip hop, dance and Latin beats.

Universal's two-disc Blu-ray release includes an iTunes/UltraViolet digital copy, a DVD and the following Blu-ray extras:

  • Deleted Scenes (8:40) - Six scenes ("Ben Tries to Sneak by Angela," "My Neck Donut," "Enter the Club," "The Impound Lot," "Your Drunk Husband" and "Extended Bar Scene").
  • Ride Along With Us (1:48) - Kevin Hart and Ice Cube get into character for this fake recruitment video for the Atlanta Police Department.
  • Gag Reel (3:47) - Flubs and foolishness from the set.
  • Behind the Scenes of Ride Along With Us (1:24) - Outtakes from the mock police recruitment video.
  • The Ride Along Roundtable (15:52) - Producer Will Packer, Director Tim Story and stars Kevin Hart and Ice Cube talk about what it was like working with one another, the future of the Ride Along franchise, and ethnic diversity in filmmaking.
  • The Ride Diaries (20:28) - Seven brief featurettes that cover the filming of various scenes ("The First Days," "The Tribute," "The Bachelor Party," "The Opening Sting," "The Alligator Scene," "The Wedding Day" and "The Final Showdown").
  • Kevin & Cube: Brothers-in-Law (6:52) - The cast and the filmmakers share their thoughts on the chemistry between Kevin Hart and Ice Cube.
  • The New Recruits (6:21) - A look at the new additions to the cast: Olivia Munn, Ken Jeong and Benjamin Bratt.
  • Inside Black Hammer Vision (3:24) - Director Tim Story talks about the concept behind the film's car chase sequence, which unfolds in part as one of Ben's favorite video games.
  • Ride Along with Kevin Hart (5:26) - Kevin Hart gets candid on the set.
  • Cori's Wedding Commercial (1:36) - A fake commercial for supporting character Cori (Sherri Shepherd).
  • Feature Commentary with Director Tim Story - Story shares tidbits from filming and talks about shooting in Miami, the new additions to the cast, the story and its subplots, the actors and their performances, the music and more.

Ride Along 2 is available from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment as of April 26th, 2016. The Blu-ray features English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish and French DTS 5.1, and English Dolby Digital 2.0 Descriptive Audio tracks. The film is presented with English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles. The total runtime is 1 Hr. 42 Mins.

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