WILL FERRELL   KEVIN HART   T.I.   CRAID T. NELSON

GET HARD

 The title isn’t a sexual reference, but you best believe they use every single opportunity to play on those two words throughout the film. Actually, Get Hard might break the record for most references to male genitalia. With Will Ferrell on a comeback tour with reining American movie comedian Kevin Hart, you best believe they go even farther than just referencing penis in this one. World premiering at SXSW, Get Hard had the two lead stars on hand for a rousing introduction, demanding everyone in the audience stand up and dance. After that it was time to nestle in for a long nap while both comedians repeatedly beat a dead horse for 90 minutes. Somewhere in all the nonsense Get Hard wants to address social issues of the 1% and harmony between white and black.

 Sentenced to ten years in prison for fraud, financier and investor James King (Ferrell) turns to his local car wash owner Darnell Lewis (Hart) for help on surviving prison. James assumes since Darnell wears a hoodie and has dark skin that he has done time, when in reality he doesn’t even have as much as a parking ticket. However, his family needs the money and Darnell decides to “play black” in order to help James prep for the penitentiary. Things don’t go so well with learning to fight or even self-defense, finally Darnell takes him to West Hollywood and explains if all else fails he needs to learn how to “service”. As James prison date gets closer and closer, they both realize that they should be proving his innocence instead of preparing to protect James’s butt.

 Get Hard is a return to what Will Ferrell does best, stupidity. The energy between the two physical comedians is high octane laughs for those who give it up for this type of material. I found two scenes funny, one where Darnell’s wife makes a sarcastic dig on The Blind Side (which most of the people in the audience didn’t seem to get) and Hart’s flame thrower moment which I won’t spoil. Most of the skits run too long, like a SNL segment that just doesn’t know how to end. One scene in particular where Hart’s character is showcasing different personalities James will meet in prison. It’s initially entertaining due to Hart’s talent with voices but is played into overkill.

 Ironically I thought T.I. gave the best performance in the film, certainly the only one who delivers a line without some sort of wink-wink to the audience for a laugh. The film goes exactly where you might expect and ends right where you assumed. There isn’t much effort for either actor as they combine their forces and following for what should be a big pay day at the box office, which is really all these guys care about. Maybe one day both will try something different, and no, I don’t just mean toned down versions of what your already doing Ferrell, but actually proving acting ability, versus acting out.

 Final Thought – A rather sterile and limp comedy.

Grade C-

By: Dustin Chase