These are golden times for stand-up comedian Kevin Hart.
His most recent tour, Laugh At My Pain, and the TV special Let Me Explain were hugely popular and a 30-minute pilot television based around Hart’s high-energy act is currently in production.
He also currently has two films raking in the dollars at the American box office including this mismatched buddy comedy.
It’s difficult to see what the fuss is about.
Neither as hilarious as it should be, nor as thrilling as it could be, Ride Along shifts lazily through the gears as its protagonists clash during a 24-hour police patrol of Atlanta and unwittingly stumble into a far bigger case involving a shadowy criminal mastermind.
Story’s film has echoes of last summer’s riotous romp, The Heat, starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, albeit without the belly laughs or winning screen chemistry between the leads.
The script boasts a couple of arresting one-liners and some slick action set pieces but we’ve screeched down these mean streets countless times before.
High school security guard Ben Barber (Kevin Hart) is a videogame junkie, who has been romancing his girlfriend Angela (Tika Sumpter) for two years.
Her brother James (Ice Cube) is a highly decorated detective in the Atlanta Police Department, who thinks Ben is unworthy of Angela’s affections, which throws a spanner in the works of Ben’s intention to propose.
The 100-minute running time drags and the resolution to the animosity between the two men strains credibility.
Yet both actors possess a certain rough charm despite the weak material, and the final shootout is blessed with a cameo from a well-known star as the enigmatic Omar.