Ice Cube To Ride Along

In action comedy from new star writer

Is Ice Cube's film career brave or just bizarre? In the 80s, you'd never have predicted that the crazy muthafukka from straight outta Compton would twenty years later be successful as the grumpy, cuddly teddy bear of the Friday and Barbershop films. You can't quite imagine his immediate contemporary (and Trespass co-star) Ice-T in a family road-trip comedy. But then, Cube is still regularly knocking out films, while Ice-T is chugging away on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. Maybe "canny" is the word.

Anyway, the point is, it's a long time since Cube went to the shelf and dusted off the AK: not since xXx2 has he busted any serious caps, and only about four people saw that. So the words "rogue cop" made us prick up our ears, in a kind of half-assed way. Ride Along, from New Line and Cube's own Cube Vision production company, is an action comedy about the aforesaid dodgy lawman trying to sabotage his sister's engagement to a posh white guy, by taking him out on the streets. On a "ride along": do you see?

In a happy, perfect world, that would make a gritty, funny counterpoint to Training Day. But there's also the unfortunate anticedant of The Man. We are trying to forget The Man. We resent anything that makes us remember.

Still, Ride Along has been through a couple of rewrites so far, and latest to set pen to paper is new hot guy Jason Mantzoukas, an actor-turned-writer who knocked out the NBC pilot Off Duty recently, and also has an as-yet-unnamed hospital comedy underway at Fox. Is he good enough to raise Ride** Along** above Cube's recent output? The jury's out. Verdict pending...