Directed by Etan Cohen
Starring: Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart, Alison Brie, Craig T. Nelson
Rated R for pervasive crude and sexual content and language, some graphic nudity, and drug material
1 hr. 40 min.
Some movies are hilarious. Some movies are not. And then there are the movies that end up somewhere in the middle, with scenes that induce tears of laughter, and scenes that have you eyeing the exits. Get Hard is definitely one that settles right in the middle, despite the valiant efforts of its talented cast.
Millionaire James King (Will Ferrell) has it all: great job, gorgeous wife, giant house, the whole nine yards. He is promoted by his soon-to-be father-in-law (Craig T. Nelson) at the firm he works for, and generally floats though a life of excess. Unfortunately for him, he is nailed for fraud and is now bound for a long stint at San Quentin after refusing a plea bargain because he claims innocence. He ends up turning to Darnell (Kevin Hart), the car washer at his firm, to prep him for his trip to the slammer.
Comedies of this sort cater to a specific taste. Adam McKay, who has delivered many great films over the last couple of years, finds comedic elements in just about any situation. This film, though, is nothing more than a series of racial clichés and prison rape jokes that never really hit the mark. Of course there are a few spots of humor during the movie, but this is largely due to the talent of Hart and Ferrell, who have the chemistry of Danny Glover and Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon. And yes, that is a direct result of their racial differences, but that is the point of the movie.
No spoilers here, but the ending is apparent from the beginning. The plot seems only to serve as a catalyst for the jokes, as opposed to other films of this nature such as The Forty-Year-Old Virgin or Bad Santa where the plot is paramount to the experience and the jokes are organic and serve as an accent to the rest of the film. Ferrell is his usual dead-behind-the-eyes self, and is as funny as he can be. Hart is off- the-charts riotous and nails it as the guy who James King mistakes for a felon and goes with it simply for the sake of cash. Sadly, director Cohen plays with the racial elements of the picture with the delicacy of a boxer in a bar fight. Understandably, however, there might not have been any way around it.
Wait for this one on pay-per-view. It is a perfect movie for a “there’s not really anything else on TV tonight” evening. Other than that, it is kind of hard to watch.