Review: Get Hard

get-hard-trailer A movie with a title like ‘Get Hard’ is clearly aiming at two different demographics for very different reasons. The film works to make one crowd as uncomfortable as possible and another joyful in its crudeness. On these two objectives the film works pretty much as intended. Starring Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart as unlikely friends from polar opposite walks of life, Get Hard is a by the numbers comedy with a flair for the offensive; in a good way. James King (Will Ferrell) is a man who has everything he has ever wanted. He is a big time Wall St. executive, has a beautiful fiancee (played by Alison Brie), and the admiration of his co-workers. Meanwhile Darnell Lewis (Kevin Hart) is a regular family man who runs a carwash business and is trying desperately to pay for his young daughter to go to a better school.The only interaction that James and Darnell have ever had is through the lens of stereotypes mostly coming from James’ perspective. The two characters are seemingly nothing alike, which is the classic and frankly tired trope of films like this.

Eventually, the plot gets moving when James is framed for embezzling money from his company. His trial becomes national news and he the poster boy for corporate greed. Maintaining his innocence, James refuses to sign any plea deal and instead relies on the justice system to do the right thing; how naive of him. He is immediately sentenced to a decade in federal prison and told he has 30 days to get all his affairs in order. This is where the movie actually begins. Ferrell does what he does best here, playing a frantic goofball who just doesn’t know how to properly respond to the nightmare scenario that he is about to be in. He has several plans that don’t work out and eventually he just accepts his fate. Only then does he call upon Darnell to help him prepare for prison life. James assumes because Darnell is Black that he has been to prison, which is categorically incorrect and offensive to Darnell. However, Darnell agrees to do it to help pay for his daughter’s education.

Comedy ensues and the two begin a somewhat hilarious training regiment for prison life. The two actors do a good job playing off each other without being insufferable. Kevin Hart has a schtick that is getting a tad old, but here its more tempered and works as the cypher for the audience. He is the everyman who can’t believe James’ bizarre rich guy worldview. Will Ferrell is a decent lead in a decent comedy. He is doing his classic style and it still works well here. The movie itself is pretty by the numbers when it comes to racial comedy. Nothing particularly groundbreaking nor upsetting. You will get some good laughs but all in all a fairly forgettable movie.

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