Posts Tagged ‘Ice Cube’

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When 21 Jump Street premiered in 2012 I felt a good bit of trepidation about the movie. As a fan of the original series that ran on Fox from 87 to 91, I was wary of it being re-imagined as a comedy. After I sat down and gave 21 Jump Street a chance, I found myself thoroughly entertained and impressed by what I was seeing and hearing. My fears about not doing the original show justice were not needed.

Fast forward to 2014 and 22 Jump Street is on its way to theatres. Tatum and Hill are back in their roles, Ice Cube returns as the Captain of Jump Street, and a few other supporting cast members are back for more. With the amount of fun that I had with 21 Jump Street in the back of my mind, I went into 22 Jump Street prepared for a let-down. How many times have we gone to the theatre for a sequel and been let down? I know I have lost count.

Once the movie started, I realized that I really need to work on my attitude…

Right from the start this movie delivers with laughs and fun that rival the first. The writing team of Michael Bacall and Jonah Hill took the formula that was so successful with 21 Jump Street and brought it back with an infusion of cash to amplify it. The jokes were witty and smart, the action scenes were eye catching, and the supporting cast filled out the story.

Hill and Tatum picked up right where they left off with 21 Jump Street, their chemistry continued to click and their characters meshed even more than before. It became apparent that what we all saw in 21 Jump Street was no fluke; these two can really make this type of movie work. Maybe they will be able to capture what Glover and Gibson had with the Lethal Weapon series and keep this rolling.

As for the rest of the cast that returned, they stepped up their games as well. Ice Cube brought even more anger and energy to the role of Captain Dickson. The character was the recipient of greater emphasis in this installment with the insertion of his family into the story, his wife’s appearance on screen was a shocking laugh in and of itself. Nick Offerman as Deputy Chief Hardy returned as well and was rewarded with some of the funniest lines of movie. His meeting with the guys to tell them of their new assignment is littered with double-meanings about the movie that we all had in mind.

The new characters that are introduced stole the show in my opinion. The Kenny and Keith Yang are identical twin brothers that are the dorm neighbors to Schmidt and Jenko and Metro State. They are played by a real life set of twin brothers Kenneth and Keith Lucas and are very funny and dynamic in the delivery of their lines, they easily steal every scene they are in. Jillian Bell as quirky roommate Mercedes is also very funny. Bell’s dry delivery of the barrage of insults and jokes Mercedes directs towards Schmidt and Jenko is mechanical and relentless, but also good for several laughs..

Overall, 22 Jump Street is hilarious! It is very worth the trip to the theatre to see on the big screen. Good jokes, funny story, and a great team of actors make this movie really work. The team of Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill did what many others have attempted and failed; made a sequel that is as good as the first.

 

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Ride Along – Review

Posted: January 15, 2014 by The Life in All, Movie Review, Movies
Tags: , , , ,

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Ride Along

Rated PG-13

for sequences of violence, sexual content and brief strong language

A high school security guard, who is addicted to video games, in Atlanta, GA has two goals in life; marry the woman of his dreams and become a cop. There is one obstacle that stands in the way of both goals coming to pass; his lady’s imposing cop brother. Ride Along is an action comedy starring Kevin Hart and Ice Cube that is equal parts Training Day and Kevin Hart stand-up.

Right from the start you realize that this movie is all about being entertaining with little regard placed on being award worthy in any category. The two main characters, loner badass cop, James Payton (Ice Cube) and wise-cracking school security guard, Ben Barber (Kevin Hart), are total opposites and over-the-top in their own unique ways. They remind me of the characters from the old 48 Hours movies played by Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte.

James decides to take his soon to be brother –in-law out for a ride along that will also serve as Ben’s “training day.” Ben has to prove his worthiness of being a cop and marrying James’s sister Angela. The movie unfolds as a series of “126 in Progress” calls that Ben is tasked with handing to see if he can make the cut. The circumstances that he is placed in and the consequences of their actions are hilarious almost to the point of being totally ridiculous.

The potential comedic chemistry between Ice Cube and Kevin Hart was a point of concern for me going in. After seeing the first on-screen interaction between the two, those concerns were quickly put to rest as they “clicked” right away. Ice Cube and Hart were a truly dynamic pairing when it comes to gaining a laugh. Kevin Hart played up his short stature and addiction to video games for several good laughs. Ice Cube worked as the straight-man for most of the movie, but also got to interject some of his own comedic and note-worthy lines. I even had a Gangsta Rap geek-out moment when Ice Cube delivered his famous lyric “Today Was a Good Day” after a particularly funny scene.

The movie is funny, but don’t go into this looking for any type of dynamic story or surprise twists to go along with the funny; it is VERY predictable. When the director, writers and producers of the movie were creating the story I’m sure the creative process went a little like this:

Producer: “I haven’t seen a funny buddy cop movie in a while.”

Writer: “Me either, wanna make one?”

Director: “I really liked training day and LOVE that short little black man… What’s his name, Kevin Hart?”

Writer: “Make Training Day funny? Use Kevin Hart to do it?  PSSHHT!! That’s easy!!!”

Producer: “Let me write you a check…”

Despite the simplistic story, I do recommend seeing the movie if you are in the mood for a few good laughs AND are a fan of Kevin Hart. If you find Kevin Hart even a little annoying, he is in full force in this one. Consider yourself warned.

Similar Viewing:

Training Day, 48 Hours, Another 48 Hours