St. Louis goes on a ‘Ride Along’


Actors Ice Cube and Kevin Hart recently stopped by St. Louis to promote their new film, Ride Along 2, the sequel to the 2013 hit comedy.

In Ride Along 2, Ben Barber (Kevin Hart) graduates from the police academy and goes on duty in Atlanta.  He is about to marry Angela (Tika Sumpter), the sister of officer James Payton (Ice Cube).  Payton is annoyed with Barber’s tactics.  Soon, Payton and Barber are assigned to Miami to help the Miami Police Department take down a powerful drug lord (Benjamin Bratt).

“The movie has great ingredients for a good movie,” Ice Cube said.  “If you combine this action-comedy with this crazy romance, I think people really respond to it.

Hart and Ice Cube knew each other before the first Ride Along, and Hart says his relationship with Ice Cube went from being actors working on a movie to being close friends.

“Our chemistry is amazing on and off screen,” Hart said.  “I consider Cube a friend.  The level of admiration I had for his portfolio and how he maintained a grounded head through it all is beyond anything.”

Contributed Photo/Universal Pictures

Hart said he considers himself astudent of Ice Cube.

“As a student, I looked at him and soaked up as much information as I could,” Hart said.  “Because of that, I think that it’s contagious on both sides.  We want the best for one another, which ultimately spills over into our projects.”

Ride Along 2 also features Ken Jeong and Olivia Munn in supporting roles.  Ice Cube said the professionalism of the actors shows on screen.

“When you got all the actors coming in with all that intensity, then we won’t stop until it works,” Ice Cube said.

Hart said professionalism is contagious spills over to everyone involved, including director Tim Story.

“Everybody’s excited about coming to work the next day,” Hart said.  “That’s the type of environment you want to work in.”

Ride Along 2 reunites Hart and Ice Cube with Story, who directed the previous entry.  Before Ride Along, Story worked with Ice Cube in Barbershop and with Hart in Think Like a Man.

“This dude is so laid-back,” Ice Cube said.  “To be honest, I don’t know how he gets anything done.  There’s no pressure [with him].”

From Compton to the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame

In addition to Ride Along 2, Ice Cube had something else to celebrate.  This year, Universal Picture’s Straight Outta Compton was a financial success, grossing $200 million on a $28 million budget.  The film tells the story of the rise and fall of N.W.A., the Compton hip hop group which consisted of Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Mc Ren and DJ Yella.

In the film, Ice Cube is played by his son, O’Shea Jackson, Jr.  He said he initially worried about his son going to the big screen, especially with the ridicule stars can get from others.  Ice Cube said his son has come a long way from being the “cool guy that spends my money.”

“He had to really take that chance and it could’ve turned out bad,” Ice Cube said.  “But, he did his homework.  He’s a pretty good actor and I think he’s got a future in this business.”

N.W.A. will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame April 8, 2016. The honor was given by both voters of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation and by fans.

“I’ve done a lot of things in entertainment, but this has got to be one of the top things to happen,” Ice Cube said.  “The fight for legitimacy was an ongoing struggle.”

N.W.A. broke up in 1991.  They had previously been nominated to join the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 and 2013 before being officially announced as inductees for 2016.

“For this to happen 25 years later is amazing,” Ice Cube said.  “I know amazing is the go-to word for stuff like this, but it is.  There’s no way I could have scripted this at all.”

The 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction will air on HBO in Spring 2016.  Ride Along 2 will be released to theaters Jan. 15, 2016.

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