There's no question: Kevin Hart is the new Eddie Murphy.
He was last seen in Grudge Match, practically stealing the film from both Robert DeNiro and Sylvester Stallone, and now he is starring in a new movie tailor-made for his comedic skill called Ride Along.
The diminutive Hart (at 5 feet, 4 inches tall) is a powerhouse comedian who made his name doing stand up. He's been seen in quite a few films over the past ten years, including 2003's Scary Movie 3 and 2010's Little Fockers. But it was his role as boxing promoter Dante Slate Jr. in Grudge Match where he held his own against heavy hitters Robert DeNiro and Sylvester Stallone. In Ride Along, Hart's comedic skills are put to good use as a security guard who wants to become a police officer in order to prove he is worthy of marrying the beautiful Angela (Tika Sumpter). However, he is thwarted at every turn by her over-protective brother James Payton (Ice Cube), who is an actual police officer.
In order to prove to Angela, and to Payton, that he can make it as a police office, video-game junkie Ben Barber (Hart) applies for and gets accepted to the police academy. He then 'rides along' for a day with his potential brother-in-law to see and feel what it's like to be a cop.
Little does Ben know that James has set him up with many dangerous (and funny) situations.
Think of Ride Along as Training Day with a lot of laughs. As this is what Hart provides — laughs at every turn. His first 'assignment' is to tell some of the rough Hell's Angels motorcyclists to move their bikes as they are parked in a handicapped area. They stand their ground, trying to intimidate Ben, and they do, but Ben stands up to them. Of course, these Hell's Angels were there as a setup that James arranged. In another scene, Ben has to restrain a large man who appears to be going crazy in a grocery store, having poured honey all over his body. It is up to Ben to restrain him, and literally gets stuck to him. You won't see any other comedian doing this type of stuff in any movie, I guarantee you. But the main plot of the film is where James is investigating, and trying to capture, one of the city's most dangerous criminals, Omar. Of course, Ben gets jist of the investigation and you can image how the film is going to end.
While Ride Along, which features cameos by Laurence Fishburne (as Omar) and John Leguizamo, may not be intended for serious audiences, it fortunately knows this and creates situations for Hart to show his very funny side. And while the script may be a bit predictable, the jokes are not, and it is Hart's delivery and the situations he is in that makes him ready to take the crown of King of Comedy that Eddie Murphy once held many years ago.