Film scores

Soundtrack review: Ride along 2 (Christopher Lennertz – 2016)

ridealone2
As a standalone listen it was a refreshing desert which left me with a very sweet aftertaste. Rock, rap, jazz and salsa music came together in a wonderful and entertaining mix.

Ride Along 2 is a 2016 American action comedy film directed by Tim Story and written by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi. It is the sequel to the 2014 film Ride Along. The film stars Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, Ken Jeong. With the wedding upcoming, James reluctantly takes Ben with him to Miami to follow up on a lead connected to a drug-ring case he’s been trying to crack. Christopher Lennertz wrote the score and this is why I am reviewing it. Since Miami is the setting of the movie he uses two well-known soloists to create the sound, trumpets Arturo Sandoval and percussionist Sheila E.

I connect easily with the score. With the trumped, jazzy percussion and even so rap inserts the music is light and amusing. The rhythm is catchy and I am somewhat relieved from the get go that this won’t be a generic comedy score I might have a hard time sitting through. I am attracted to the Latin groove rhythms and I feel like moving in my chair as the cool “The brothers in law” develops.

The soloists are used very intelligently. The score doesn’t become about them and their craft doesn’t still the spotlight. Instead Christopher Lennertz’s music drives and the lush trumpet and smooth percussion and carefully woven in the fabric of the score as if they were distant echoes put there to add a better flavor. As the album progresses I feel the music is just as colorful and varied as a street carnival. The ethnic flavor also contains an African inspired cue “Mufasa”.

I like this score because it doesn’t waste time in trying to be something else. The music is alert, exciting, fun to listen to and even the quieter moments have meaning to them. I like the sudden bursts of various instruments, I love the melancholic trumpet calling like a distant lighthouse and I love the percussion chopping away. I love smooth funky cues like “Dope dealer / 10th thing” which remind me of the 70s police movies.

It’s not very often that a score makes me smile for its entire duration. “Ride along 2” does that without any effort and the cues come, play and go only to be followed by another one just as cool. This score is a nonstop party made of interesting instrumentation and sharp turns. Sometimes I think this score would work even better on an animation film but I am sure it serves this movie brilliantly in context. As a standalone listen it was a refreshing desert which left me with a very sweet aftertaste. Rock, rap, jazz and salsa music came together in a wonderful and entertaining mix.

Cue rating: 84 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 11 / 42

Album excellence: 27%

Highlights:

Don’t Be Signaling (feat. Sheila E. & Arturo Sandoval)

Favor

Jackpot (feat. Sheila E.)

Mufasa

Dope Dealer / 10th Thing

Shootout (feat. Sheila E. & Arturo Sandoval)

Two Lamps And A Hard Place / Stakeout (feat. Sheila E.)

 

 

About the author

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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