Get Hard – 3 stars

Will Ferrell has seemingly gone to the well too often with his super clueless white dude schtick (as I write this, he dropped another one into theaters with Mark Wahlberg; Ferrell is the super clueless white stepdad to Wahlberg’s bitchin’ cool real dad). There’s nothing new to it, but I have to say, coupled with Kevin Hart, in Get Hard, you have the two hardest working men in show biz peddling standard physical, fish-out-of-water yuks. and they hit more targets than they miss. And by hardest working, I don’t mean they do a lot of movies (although they do), but that they work the ever-loving shit out of a bit, no matter how lame the premise or how Hindenburg-esque it feels. And I have to give them credit. Ferrell, as the super clueless white dude hedge fund manager set up by his boss, and Hart, as the man who washes his car and acts like an ex-felon to prepare Ferrell for hard time, create laughs on the sheer strength of their dedicated efforts. It’s almost as if they’re beating them out of you in their riffs, and it jumps this movie a full 2 stars. Interestingly, what murdered the movie with the critics was the constant refrain of Ferrell fearing forced sex (or otherwise) in prison; those halcyon days of making mirth of prison rape have passed (The Atlantic‘s Christopher Orr gave the film the “Gay Panic Award” and Salon took the time to provide a compendium of reviews deeming it “a racist, homophobic mess”). I’ll leave it to others more sensitive than myself to judge the film’s racism or homophobia, but I confirm it is a mess, albeit one that has some very funny bits (including some centered on Ferrell’s fear of gay sex), made funnier by the blood, sweat and tears of the leads.

 

 

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