In the movies, casting a hot comedian at just the right time is probably a combination of calculation and luck. How can you know somebody’s going to be cresting a year or two before signing him to a contract? Whatever it was for the makers of Ride Along, they’ve caught Kevin Hart at an ideal moment.
Hart has been knocking around doing comedy specials and stand-up, along with roles in ensembles movies like This Is the End. His theatrically released standup film, Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain, did surprisingly strong business on relatively few screens last summer, and his prominence in the ads for Grudge Match (in which his role was small) suggested his perceived box-office value.
In Ride Along, Hart gets full co-starring status and lots of room to roam. The movie’s blueprint is 48 HRS. and similar cop movies, with Hart in the Eddie Murphy role — which means Ice Cube plays Nick Nolte, I suppose.