What would be the live action version of a Family Guy episode written by a 9GAG user?
Will Ferrell plays the entitled, pasty millionaire who enlists the help of an equally clueless black “former convict” (Kevin Hart) to prepare him for a ten-year prison sentence.
Look, we all know the formula.
Jokes about gay people + jokes about minority races = many hahas.
At least, that’s what seems to work. The more crass, obscene and in-your-face the humour is, the better. Movies like this, somehow, always perform pretty decently in the box office and people lap this stuff up. Why else would anyone continue making “satirical” movies such as this?
The comedy in Get Hard is, to put it bluntly, juvenile and cringe-worthy. We have Will Ferrell playing his typical rich, well intentioned, but astoundingly ignorant, type character. Think Ron Burgundy, but in the financial sector. This character is called James King. I mean, come on.
In retrospect, Kevin Hart’s Darnell Lewis drops much-appreciated truth bombs here and there. His character is the only voice of reason in this movie, which is refreshing, juxtaposed to the other cardboard cut out characters. I don’t know if this singular character was an attempt at being satirical, but it didn’t work.
This lowbrow comedy is a goldmine of distasteful and tired stereotypes. Get Hard serves up age-old prison rape, ‘hoodrat’, and trophy wife jokes on a silver platter. Okay, I don’t mean the fancy silverware sort. I’m talking ‘aluminium mess tin’ sort. All these jokes are so 2012, when comedies like Ted and Project X still left people in stitches.
There isn’t even room for uncomfortable laughter, because you know that it’s not even low-key funny enough for that. If anything, the laughter is accompanied with a slightly guilty ‘wait, what…’.
That being said, this movie is not one to be taken seriously. Get Hard is a movie so absurd that you just cannot take much offence with it.
A round of applause should be given to Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell, who complement each other effortlessly on screen. Hart’s insane energy and bold presence balances out Ferrell’s more muted, character-driven approach. Both men’s distinctive comedic styles appeal to different crowds, and those crowds are brought together by this collaboration. Get Hard gives us a comedic duo we should keep an eye out for. If the two were to be savvier with the issues they hope to address or counter in a movie, they’ll be unstoppable.
Perhaps movies like this are all part of a screwed up social experiment to see how far to push such humour before people start to talk about the issues behind them. I say keep pushing.
Get Hard is now showing in theatres.
Directed by: Etan Cohen
Starring: Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart, Allison Brie, Craig T. Nelson, Edwina Findley Dickerson, T.I., and others
Running time: 100 minutes
Photos courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.