Kevin Hart and Ice Cube in the house! And we’re not talking Los Angeles. Ride Along 2 had its world premiere in Miami Beach Wednesday.
At about 5 p.m., curious onlookers starting gathering outside a black carpet set up on Lincoln Road outside Regal Cinemas South Beach.
Around two hours later, the telltale SUVs with dark tinted windows began to arrive, with the stars of the action comedy sequel stepping out to screams and flashing cameras.
The buddy movie, opening Friday, catches up with Ben (Hart), who just graduated from the police academy, and his soon-to-be brother in law, cop James (Ice). The two travel to (where else?) Miami to investigate a drug ring.
Newcomers to the cast did the walk, like Ken Jeong (The Hangover), mugging and posing for selfies. “Do I look fashionable?” he joked.
Olivia Munn (Magic Mike) was smiling and sexy in a flowy red dress but admitted she was a little weary.
“We were up early, and I don’t drink coffee,” said Munn, who plays a tough cop and Ice’s love interest. “And I was too excited to take a nap.”
Carlos Gomez (The Glades), who plays the captain of police, said he was getting ready to shoot an episode of Showtime’s House of Lies in Havana, marking the first time an American scripted series will be shot in the country since the U.S. and Cuba restored diplomatic relations.
Of his guest starring role on the show about a ruthless management consultant (Don Cheadle), Gomez plays a local mogul.
“The whole idea is Cheadle wants to buy land and set up hotels over there, and I kind of show him the ropes,” said Gomez, a graduate of Miami Senior High School whose parents are from Cuba. “It’s a very interesting episode.”
Benjamin Bratt, also new to the Ride Along scene, said he had no problem playing the bad guy, drug lord Antonio Pope — but he faced some challenges.
“It was hard to keep a straight face with Kevin around,” Bratt said of Hart. “You play opposite against him, and he’s very improvisational — he experiments moment to moment so you never know what you’re gonna get.”
Ice Cube knew full well what he was going to get as the straight man to Hart’s manic energy the second time around.
“The dude is funny. He’s funny!” said the iconic rapper, who introduced the comedian at the screening for press which included the director, Tim Story, and producer, Will Packer.
Ice then added, seriously: “We’re extremely proud of this movie. We had a great time. We worked extremely hard.”
Hart had a few choice words for the audience.
“Now, listen, people,” he said. “These things feed off energy so lose your uppity attitude. Put yourself in a mood to have a good time. And do what you best —talk about it ... Positively!”
An afterparty followed up on the roof at 1111 Lincoln Road, where the cast hung out, taking pictures, eating sushi and doing tequila shots.
Spies say Hart was the first to arrive and last to leave.