This week I ventured into theaters to see Kevin Hart (ugh) in Ride Along and Aaron Eckhart (yay?) in I, Frankenstein.
I repeat, ugh… I’m not a big fan of comedies in general, and as comedians go, I really dislike Kevin Hart. I’m not sure how anyone finds him funny actually. So with those biases in mind, I declare this an awful movie. Hart’s character is a man-child trying to convince his live-in girlfriend’s brother, played by Ice Cube, that he is a worthy suitor. Cube tests Hart with a ride along. Hart attempts to prove his worth both as a potential cop and potential husband and Ice Cube in turn attempts to submarine his efforts by having Hart deal with petty public nuisances all day. Eventually, they do get into a serious situation, finding out that Ice Cube’s partners are dirty and in the employ of Laurence Fishburne’s nefarious dealer, Omar. Hart saves Ice Cube by imitating the reclusive kingpin, but the bad guys escape and kidnap the girlfriend/sister. Hart and Cube have to work together to save her, they succeed, they accept each other, roll credits. Part of planning to watch 100 movies means seeing some films that are below your standards and fail resonate with you. Ride Along is both of those things for me, to an extreme extent. Not only was this movie’s plot predictable, the situations were not particularly funny and Kevin Hart is terribly not funny enacting them. Ice Cube’s grumpy, protective brother isn’t any good either. Fishburne’s reveal was about the only interesting development in Ride Along, and it most certainly was not worth watching the other hour and a half of Kevin Hart inanity.
Aaron Eckhart takes on the titular monster role in I, Frankenstein. Well… sort of. One thing that constantly bothers me about Frankenstein adaptations, expansions, and re-tellings is that everyone seems to forget that the monster doesn’t actually have a name. In this version, an adaptation of a graphic novel, Aaron Eckhart’s monster is caught in the middle of a war between Demons, led by Bill Nighy, and Gargoyles, led by Miranda Otto. The Demons wish to possess human bodies and rule the Earth; the Gargoyles, created by the Archangel Michael, watch over and protect mankind. The action truly takes off once Adam (the name given to the monster by the Gargoyle Queen) returns to the the Gargoyle’s sanctum and allows a police officer to get killed. Nighy and Otto’s followers battle multiple times while Adam is drawn further and further into the fray. One of Nighy’s scientists, played by Yvonne Strahovski, has been researching corpse reanimation for sinister purposes. Lo and behold, Adam ends up saving the day and lives happily ever after with this scientist. A bit messy, but, hey, at least, I, Frankenstein was entertaining. The gargoyle-demon battle scenes are well-done and engaging, particularly the ascension/decension effects which are beautiful. The characters have understandable motives. It’s most certainly not a great movie, but there are already several far worse choices, it’s still only January, I’ll allow it.
After last week’s rise to “just barely below average,” Ride Along weighs down a mediocre I, Frankenstein and leaves us all the worse for the wear. Fortunately, there looks to be some relief in the near future! (And no, it’s not one of the hundred other movies in theaters starring Kevin Hart, who’s haunting me like a poltergeist.)