Yo, what up, it’s your boy Ice Cube, and today, after extensive delays on the part of Universal Pictures’ marketing department and a number of other setbacks, I’m about to take you on a ride along. So buckle up. It’s gonna be a wild ride.
In Ride Along, I play James Payton, a veteran police officer who keeps the peace on the mean streets of Atlanta. But you might already know that, as this movie was released in the United States on January 17, nearly three months ago. Apparently some wires got crossed between Universal and this website’s advertising department, which kept this slideshow from running when it was supposed to. Either way, why don’t you step into my ride and we can hit the streets.
Here’s my boy, Kevin Hart, one of the funniest guys I know. He plays Ben Barber, a nervous security guard who’s trying to marry my sister, and I show him a thing or two by taking him to get down and dirty on a real police ride along. Kevin was supposed to join me in doing this slideshow, but this fact never made it to his agent. Just another thing Universal screwed up. Guess I just got to do this thing solo.
We shot the whole thing on location in Atlanta, including this crazy shootout in the Underground Atlanta shopping center, where Kevin’s character and I get into a gunfight with members of a syndicate run by this thug named Omar. The most frustrating part about this whole process was that the slideshow was written and in the books months before the film’s release. But then Glen Laslow over at Universal corporate decided that it needed a “quick rewrite,” which meant that a bunch of producers sent in their own notes and this thing got reworked more times than I can count. I’m telling you, that gunfight’s gonna blow your mind. Some real Compton shit. Also, I still haven’t gotten paid for this slideshow cross-promotion yet. Not sure what the holdup is there.
Throughout the ride along, I’m trying to test Kevin’s character to see if he’s man enough to marry my sister. This scene should have been a piece of cake, but my boy KH kept cracking jokes and I couldn’t keep a straight face. By the way, we came up with what must have been hundreds of slides like this, but every single one of them had to be run up the flagpole to some studio exec. Meanwhile, the release date kept getting closer and we still didn’t have anything to show. Can’t say the communication was too good on Universal’s part.
This lil’ man stole the show when he ripped into Kevin’s character for being so short and scrawny, but whenever you have child actors there’s a lot of shit that needs to be in place, including a parent on set and other union stipulations, and so the slideshow got held up again while we were waiting for approval from the SAG-AFTRA people.
The thing is, I kept reaching out to Universal to make sure this slideshow was going to be done in time, but they never returned my calls. Finally, I decided to get in touch with the slideshow producers on the website’s end to see if they were going to hit the mark, but when I finally got through to their guy, he didn’t even know that they were running a slideshow in the first place. You can’t make this shit up. Oh yeah, this is a scene where I show Kevin’s character how to shoot a gun. That was a fun day on set.
This was another great scene in the movie. But listen to this: Apparently the Universal people were confused about the release date, so they didn’t reach out to the slideshow team until well into January. And then the people in charge of putting the slideshow online were under the impression that it was meant to promote Ride Along’s release on DVD, so the contracts just sat on the lawyer’s desk for weeks. Unbelievable, right? Anyway, working alongside a talented actor like Laurence Fishburne was a highlight for me. Guy’s a real pro. You know, hold up, all it would have taken was one phone call to straighten this whole slideshow thing out—just one. Can’t say I’m too happy with how any of this went down.
Our director for Ride Along was a man by the name of Tim Story; this movie wouldn’t have been nothing without him. After the release date passed and a slideshow failed to materialize, I assumed that the whole thing had been scrapped. But I found out last week that we were going to run it anyway, even though this thing isn’t even in theaters anymore. They really fucked this one up.
I want to reiterate that this slideshow should have been circulated no later than the week leading up to Ride Along’s release. This would have allowed a coordinated multi-platform promotional campaign to build buzz for the movie. Any halfway competent marketing team would have been able to achieve this, but apparently that was too much to ask. Anyway, hope you enjoyed this ride along. And be sure to check out the movie on Netflix or Blu-ray or whatever it’s on now.