Friday, March 27, 2015

Movie Review #235: "Get Hard" (2015)

Movie"Get Hard"
Ticket Price: $12.50
Director: Etan Cohen
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
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James King (Will Ferrell) is a wealthy stock broker working at his future father-in-law's brokerage firm. When James is framed for fraud and embezzlement, he refuses to take a plea bargain because he is innocent. Unfortunately, the jury doesn't agree and the judge decides to make an example of him, sentencing him to 10 year in a maximum security prison. James has 30 days to get his affairs in order. In an effort to prepare for prison, James asks the help of Darnell (Kevin Hart), who runs the car wash that operates out of the parking garage of the brokerage firm, and someone who James thinks is an ex-con. Darnell knows nothing about being in prison since he has never been, but needs money for the down payment on a new house, so he agrees to help James for $30,000.

There have been a few times on this blog where we have stated that we find Kevin Hart more obnoxious than funny. Recently though, Kevin Hart has been proving us wrong by choosing roles atypical of his ordinary obnoxious guy shtick and has performed them in a manner we actually find humorous. We can now safely say we genuinely enjoyed the duo of Hart and Will Ferrell in "Get Hard," something we had not expected! Most comedies have been scraped from the bottom of the barrel lately, and while this movie certainly won't win any awards, it's got some truly hilarious moments, and though some of the jokes can be seen as "racist" or cringe-worthy, we think there are more hits than misses. Hart plays Darnell, a man who owns a small car washing business and is hoping to save up enough money so he and his wife Rita, played by Edwina Findley-Dickerson, can buy a new house so their daughter can go to a school in a better, safer area. Ferrell plays James King, a wealthy stock broker who is oblivious to how the real world works. He is someone who has had a leg-up in life, but is deluded in that he considers himself a self-made man through hard work, not because, you know, his father-in-law owns the company that made him rich. Together, Ferrell and Hart form an odd couple style comedy duo in this culture-clashing comedy, and between Hart's want to better his own personal situation and Ferrell's naivete and need to survive once he gets to jail, we were shocked how funny this movie was as a whole. The humor in this movie is your standard topical satirical comedy, dealing with things like unintentional racism, the disconnect a wealthy man has with everyday people, as well as the occasional and sometimes literal dick joke. In addition, this movie, like a lot of comedies, in some ways, serves to open a discussion about how different races perceive one another in a socially acceptable way. By using both white and black stereotypes as a springboard, "Get Hard" is able to peel back some of our socially constructed preconceived notions of one another. Sure, there are some moments that are borderline racist, but we've noticed that this is a common thread between most mainstream comedies nowadays. These jokes mesh well in the context of the film and almost always hit their mark, mainly through the excellent delivery and comedic timing of Hart and Farrell, both together and separately. That, of course, means the entire film rests on their shoulders, and how much you enjoy it will be directly related to how much you like Will Farrell and Kevin Hart in starring roles. There are some other great secondary character, starring the like of the hilarious Ron Funches, someone who, even when he's trying to "act hard," is a giant teddy bear. Rapper T.I. plays Darnell's cousin and gang leader Russell, who is used as a last ditch effort once James' "training" for prison fails. Craig T. Nelson also stars as James' soon-to-be father-in-law Martin, but he's not really in the movie a whole lot. It was fun to see him pop up in this movie, though.

Of course, the story and plot of the film is 100% predictable and formulaic from the get-go, and within minutes of the film starting, we already know how it's going to end. Though this might seem like a point of contention, it doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things because even though we know where the trip will end, the ride to get there certainly really fun. Full of some great running gags and an awesome friend-duo in Hart and Ferrell, the bottom line is, a comedy's job is to make you laugh, and we can most certainly say "Get Hard" did its job as far as we are concerned.

My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: ~6.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: ~29%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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