Ride

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Ride

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Like 1996's Get On The Bus, the seemingly unreleasable Ride features a charter of urban blacks—here, a group of rowdy hip-hop upstarts from Harlem—embarking on a cross-country journey together. Unlike Spike Lee's provocative drama, however, the only thing these singularly unappealing characters discover along the way is the howling depths of their own soullessness. Melissa DeSousa (of TV's Damon) and Kellie Williams (of TV's Family Matters) head a cast featuring a veritable who's-who of washed-up MTV icons, including "Downtown" Julie Brown, Idalis, Snoop Dogg, Onyx, Luke from 2 Live Crew, and Doctor Dre & Ed Lover. How ironic that the starry-eyed DeSousa's lifelong dream is to produce rap videos, willfully diving into the same fickle world that so cruelly ejected all her co-stars. It's bad enough that writer-director Millicent Shelton's comic timing is as rank as the vehicle's overflowing septic tank, but her decision to include a stern moral sounding board (Malik Yoba, in the Charles S. Dutton role) is appallingly hypocritical. What could be worse than a baldly misogynist, exploitative movie decrying the evils of misogyny and exploitation? The ads for Ride boast "from the producers of House Party," a curious selling point considering the mild success of that Kid 'n' Play vehicle. Though made nearly a decade later, Ride will have no trouble fitting in with Class Act, Strictly Business, Livin' Large, and the other dreadful spin-offs left in its wake.

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