Director: Etan Cohen
Cast: Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart, Alison Brie and Craig T. Nelson
Running Time: 100 minutes
Release Date: March 27th
Christ, where to begin? We could just shorthand it and tell you straight up that this is the least funny film Will Ferrell has ever had the misfortune to be a part of, and considering the competition of Land of the Lost, Kicking and Screaming or Bewitched, we don’t say that lightly. However, the problems with Get Hard go much deeper than just not being funny.
The team-up with Kevin Hart seems like a good idea, with both men known for their high energy antics and man-child behaviour, but with neither one sure which one is supposed to be the straight guy and which the comic foil, they both dial down their natural instincts, and we end up with two comedians waiting for the other one to be the funny one.
The threadbare plot finds Ferrell as a rich stock-broker with thirty days of freedom before being sent to prison for embezzling crimes he didn’t commit, so he enlists the help of Hart to help him get ready for prison life. The problem is that Hart has never been to prison, and is in fact an upstanding citizen, but is willing to fake it in order to get paid by Ferrell so he can kick-start his car-wash business. Why did Ferrell think that Hart was in prison, you might ask? Because Hart is black. Yes, that’s the full depths of his reasoning; pure, old-fashioned racism. It doesn’t stop there though, as the film also has a great time plumbing the depths of sexism (Alison Brie plays a gold-digging sex bomb), elitism (Craig T. Nelson is rich, so he’s obviously bad) and homophobia (there are, approximately, a thousand jokes about prison rape), just in case there was anyone in the audience who hadn’t been offended yet.
The opening credits of the movie involves a split-screen of the rich and the poor, people buying clothes on Rodeo Drive while others dig into nearby trash cans, and there’s a brief glimpse into the smarter, more pointed movie it could have been. None of that potential is to be found anywhere within the movie though, as first-time director Etan Cohen seems to regularly abandon his own screenplay to allow Ferrell and Hart to have an ad-lib session, which too often results in long scenes that aren’t funny and lead nowhere.
In the right hands, offensiveness can often be hilarious, and tackling taboo subjects do sometimes result in some of the biggest laughs. On the other hand, a protracted scene of Will Ferrell attempting to give another man fellatio for the first time in a gay bar so he’s prepared to do the same in prison isn’t offensive or taboo; it’s just a bad joke. It’s a bad joke in a movie overflowing with bad jokes. In fact, there’s your review right there. Get Hard; a bad joke.