Get Hard (1/10)
by Tony Medley
Runtime 100 minutes.
Not for children.
silly, juvenile double-entendre title isn't enough to warn you, if one
wants to see how the sophomoric Judd Apatow ethos of crass vulgarity
appealing for 15 year-old males has done to film comedy, one need only
compare the Richard Pryor-Gene Wilder 1976 comedy Silver Streak
and the less entertaining 1980 comedy Stir Crazy with this Will
Ferrell- Kevin Hart knockoff. Although none of the filmmakers, (writers
Jay Martell & Ian Roberts and Etan Cohen, also sharing a story by credit
with Adam McKay, and director Etan Cohen) give any credit to the makers
of Silver Streak (directed by Arthur Hiller and written by Colin
Higgins) and Stir Crazy (directed by Sidney Poitier and written
by Bruce Jay Friedman), this is clearly based on several episodes
from them, especially the brilliant sketch in Silver Streak in
which Richie tries to instruct Gene on how to walk and act like a
brother. Because of the quality of the two actors, the scenes are fall
the Ferrell team. They base the entire movie on basically the same
premise. Ferrell is a naïve hedge fund manager who is framed and
sentenced to prison. Contrary to what happens in real life, the judge
gives Ferrell 30 days to get his affairs in order. What actually happens
when you’re found guilty and sentenced on a federal rap is that you are
taken into custody immediately. But then there would’ve been no movie.
Too bad. If only they had taken Will into custody upon sentencing I
wouldn’t have had to sit through this and then write a review on it.
the inevitable, Ferrell, playing the same ignoramus he has played since
his debut in Elf (2003) hires Hart, a black man who is a car
washer, to teach him how to act so he can survive his years in prison
because he thinks that Hart, being black, has probably been in prison.
In fact, obviously, Hart knows nothing about being in prison but, hey,
he needs the money, so he goes along.
follows is one scene after another aping and expanding upon the few
scenes in Silver Streak mentioned above.
Unfortunately, because of Apatow’s influence on Ferrell and the
new breed of Hollywood comedic actors (called the “Frat Pack” and the
“Apatow Chapter”), the scenes are filled with low class, sexual themes
some of which are gross and all of which are unfunny, epitomized by a
disgusting scene in which Hart instructs Ferrell to learn how to give
oral sex to another man with a fast shot of frontal male nudity.
an enormously dispiriting movie. Pryor and Wilder might have been able
to make something good out of it because the idea has potential. But it
would require high quality writing, directing, and acting. I'd like to
see Will Ferrell devote his God-given talent to uplifting erudite
comedies instead of this unfunny jejune low class junk. He showed he
could do high quality work in Stranger Than Fiction (2006), so he
has the talent.