|Will Ferrell acts hard in, Get Hard|
The Buddy film is nothing new. It's been around almost since the beginning of movie making. But the black guy/white guy buddy movie, is of a more limited breed. I mean the elephant that's always in the room for those types of films is of racial differences. Some films face it head on like Django Unchained and A Time to Kill (not really a buddy movie, but close). Some films dance around the topic until a moment or two reminds you (and the characters) of it (Die Hard with a Vengeance, 48 Hours). Some use humor to ease the tension (Blazing Saddles, Guess Who?). While others just stay honest throughout (White Men Can't Jump, Crash). Personally, I like the types of those films that acknowledge the elephant early on and moves past it to get the job done (Lethal Weapon). Unless of course, the entire film is about race.
The film Get Hard, definitely acknowledges its racial differences but, it also adds nothing to the genre except for stereotypical characters and lazy writing. Oh wait, that subtracts from the genre instead. This film tries to make a comedic social commentary about black and white issues and, rich versus poor perceptions. Well, it fails on both fronts. What we are subjected to, is one-hundred minutes of forced situations and the same old innocent overacting shtick of Will Ferrell (Step Brothers). Like Adam Sandler (Big Daddy), his act has long lost its allure. He does have a few decent moments though, but they come too few. His sidekick, played by Kevin Hart (Ride Along), is once again forced to vomit out what is written in the script and, does the best he can with it. Just like with Hart's buddy film from the previous year, he's more fitting for a better movie.
The first half is the worst half of Get Hard. Nearly every joke and situation is contrived, predictable, and worst of all, it's not hilarious. Sure it's funny at times but, shouldn't a Ferrell and Hart collaboration be hysterical? Though not any funnier, the second half is better. There's less pointless exposition and more character growth. Not much, but better than nothing. What I liked, was the appearance of rapper/actor T.I.. Although he was on the screen for a limited time, he seemed to be the only character besides Hart that was comfortable in his role. When the film deals with him and his crew, it's actually funny and a nice distraction from all of the other lackluster moments. I also like Hart's wife in the film, played by Edwina Findley (Insidious: Chapter 2). She seemed to be the most grounded of the characters and she wasn't trying to exaggerate herself. Alison Brie (The Five-Year Engagement) plays Ferrell's spoiled rich girl fiance and she does fine but, how many times can you see the same old hollow character? Craig T. Nelson (Coach) as her father in the film, is also poorly written and barely used for much affect.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Get Hard
The Good- Never say the N-word even with permission, gangsta stock trading tips, and awkward bj's in the bathroom.
The Bad- The entire prison training segment. What a worthless/unrealistic waste of time to bond these characters for cheap laughs.
The Ugly- Movies like this not only have the opportunity to entertain us, they also have the opportunity to lower the walls of ignorance and misunderstanding to help make this world a little easier to live in. What this film wasted (besides talent), was a chance to help that cause a little bit. Instead, both races are made to look like caricatures of themselves.
Final Thoughts on Get Hard
Another comedy that had the potential for greatness but won't even be remembered in a year. If you're one of those simple people that actually liked Ride Along, you might like Get Hard. For the rest of us that know we have seen this same $#!+ before, stay away from this film entirely. Not even an extended, no holds barred, director's cut, with Ferrell's bare ass scene removed, could make this worth seeing again. All that's left is Ferrell's oily butt cheek impressions on a glass door. I'm not cleaning that up!
Rating- 3 out of 10
Running Time- 100 Minutes
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