By Mark Alakas (Canada)
A film teacher once told me that one of the best ways to determine if a film was good or not, was by being able to remember parts of the movie the morning after seeing the film. However, I doubt that this teacher was prepared for Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart’s comedy mash-up Get Hard, because I’m remembering this movie for all the wrong reasons. The notion of funnyman Will Ferrell and comedic genius, Kevin Hart tickled my funny bone and immediately drew my attention to this film. However, don’t be fooled!! This is a truly disappointing film; from the lame examples of comedy to the highly predictable and boring plot, and all the way back to what is in my opinion, a highly controversial theme.
The film follows James King (Ferrell), who is sentenced to a high security prison for being falsely accused of fraud and stealing from his financial firm. The only problem is that King is a stereotypical white-collared business man, who most certainly will not survive in prison. Until, King meets Darnell Lewis (Hart), who King automatically assumes is a former convict due to his race, when in reality, Darnell hasn’t received as much as a parking ticket. So Darnell, using his stereotypical knowledge of life in prison attempts to toughen up King for his sentence.
When two comedic masterminds, such as Ferrell and Hart collaborate on a film; you’d almost expect there to be highly original comedy and laughs almost every second of the film. So where in the name of Lebowski did things do wrong!! Almost every single joke, every single attempt at being funny is either shown to audiences through trailers or is just predictable. One example would be the mad dog/sad dog scene. Darnell tries to teach James to be intimidating (If you’ve seen any promotional piece for this film, you’ll know the scene), while this scene gained major laughs throughout the promotional campaign, it rendered only little to no laughs in the film. The same goes for the first forty five minutes of the film, all the characters are introduced with really bad set-up jokes or just stupid examples of humor; specifically Ferrell’s character showing his Johnson to his gardeners through a glass window when he first wakes up every morning.
As the film progresses and my amount of brain cells decreases, the comedy transitions from lame racial jokes to just offensive and disgusting jokes and predictable and flat physical comedy. Examples of this would be King (Ferrell), attempting to give another man oral intercourse or King joining numerous stereotypical gangs, such as an alliance of whites or a crew of African-Americans that despise “outsiders”; and for the lame physical comedy, almost every attempt at it is predictable or flat out stupid: especially scenes when Ferrell attempts to do a rich man’s version of karate. Don’t get me wrong when I say these things, Ferrell and Hart both put the most of their acting abilities in their roles; only to be ruined by a bad script That being said, the humor in Get Hard is incredibly boring, predictable and downright offensive to most of its viewing audience.
In the mix with the incredibly boring comedy is and incredibly predictable plot to match. All the characters are introduced to the audience within the first few minutes of the film; so when it’s revealed that King was falsely accused and how transactions work in his firm are presented to the audience, it becomes clear that his fiancé and his fiancé’s father, who is also his boss, are behind the false accusations. This leads up to a highly anti-climactic showdown aboard a yacht where the predictable happens, King’s name is cleared and his accusers are sent to prison. To whoever wrote the script, you should really reconsider your career choice, as it’s clear you lack the skills to make a good joke and a half decent plot.
Lastly, the themes presented throughout the film are in my opinion, highly controversial. Every fifteen minutes of the film present a new racial stereotype is produced; whether it be Hispanic, African American or White. All African-Americans are presented as “gangstas” or “Boyz in da Hood”, all Hispanics are presented as lawn workers and Whites are presented as the elite, above everyone else folk. The film also goes on to present homosexuals as caring and loving men who are always looking for a good time. In my opinion, all of this was not necessary in the film and it still could have been as funny and as boring as the final product, if these themes and stereotypes were left out.
Get Hard isn’t entirely a failure, it has a few redeeming moments that are overshadowed by a faulty script and controversial themes. I’d rate Get Hard a 5.7/10, I suggest only watching this film if it’s a last resort, such as an airplane or road trip, otherwise stay clear from this film.