Get Hard – Movie Review – by Conor MacNamara
Director: Ethan Cohen
Writer: Ian Roberts, Jay Martel, Ethan Cohen
Starring: Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart, Alison Brie
Will Ferrell is back in typical goofy fashion, teamed up alongside Kevin Hart in an odd couple, salt-and-pepper ‘comedy’ which tries desperately to achieve some level of risqué but clever political incorrectness, and dies halfway in the realm of the cliché. James (Ferrell) is an arrogant, stereotype one percenter business man en route to the Fed house. With prison life approaching, he enlists Darnell (Hart) to teach him how to, in the films own words, “be black” before he’s convicted. Sadly, over the course of his lesson in prison yard lifestyle, he never overcomes his prejudices, and neither does the film.
What should have been a combo-dish of comedic legends results in a floundering mishmash of bland stereotypes with few opportunities for either lead to cut loose and make it their own. From gangbanger to prison queen, the films attempts to mock and invert stereotypes quickly end up embracing them. Humour is hit-and-miss as Ferrell plays it goofy and slapstick and Hart is little more than an underused foil. The film demands we care about our racist Wall Street protagonist, without having enough mutual respect to write an actually likeable character. We are instead handed the cliché script device of ‘please excuse characters shortcomings as he is well-meaning and knows not what he does’. Did I mention James is also innocent of the crime he is accused of? Unfunny clichés abound.
Ultimately, repetition is the bane of comedy and tired clichés tacked to a patchwork of tired stereotypes is nothing if not repetitive.
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