Release Date: March 25, 2015
Director: Etan Cohen
Writer: Jay Martel, Ian Roberts, Etan Cohen, Adam McKay
Cast: Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart, Craig T. Nelson, Alison Brie, Edwina Findley Dickerson, Ariana Neal, Erick Chavarria, T.I., Paul Ben-Victor, John Mayer, Jon Eyez, Nito Larioza, Dan Bakkedahl, Greg Germann, Ron Funches, Joshua Joseph Gillum, Chris Marroy, Katia Gomez, James Moses Black, Elliot Grey
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 100 minutes
Production Company: Gary Sanchez Production, Warner Bros.
Kevin Hart has been on the scene for over a decade now. He started small like everyone else, and progressed from a stand-up comedian to mainstream movies. Will Ferrell has been around for even longer, and it seems like he never hits a bad note on the big screen or in classic episodes of SNL. Though honestly, Kevin Hart’s latest films have been either hits or misses. It seems like he only plays the same character (himself), which became quite tiresome. I have started to only look forward to his stage performances, and bored with his movies feeling he overwhelms everyone by being too loud, and with the never-ending onslaught of “hey everyone, look at me because I’m short” jokes. I’m not sure if he got the memo, but the collaboration of Mr. Hart and Mr. Ferrell in Get Hard was the necessary boost to regain my interest. It did that, and exceeded my expectations. It is a comedy that I will remember for a while, and look forward to watching repeatedly.
While it is obviously the selling point here, the movie owes its success to the main characters, James and Darnell (Ferrell, Hart). They’re polar opposites, but come met in a realistic setting. From this point on, the laughter starts, and simply doesn’t stop. The only question that needs that needs to be raised is, “Why haven’t these two comedic greats worked together sooner?”, because they are quite the hilarious duo. Sometimes you’re laughing so hard you miss the next joke. The experience of sharing this with an auditorium full of people crying of excessive laughter is even better. Don’t get me wrong, the movie is as silly as can be; but the people behind the camera are well aware of this. The tickets for this movie, therefore, are inexpensive. These two feed off each other as if they were doing this their whole lives. All the jokes hit you on a multitude of levels, and sets off its own flare. The innocence of Ferrell’s character is soothing, while you can sympathize with Hart’s character. It doesn’t show on the screen too often, but Darnell is just a family man trying to get by. James presents an opportunity he tries to make the best of, like a random elevator conversation.
On another note, the overall story doesn’t match all the comedic beats. It starts with a flash forward then goes back, which feels a little unnecessary. The montage of footage that brought James to his demise was condensed and felt forced. It was a minor misfire, but was still jarring. It ended with a cop-out and a full flourish. On multiple occasions, I noticed that a film containing guns was a realistic scenario, but was overlooked believing that the film didn’t want to take any responsibilities. James was the showrunner with this towards the conclusion, and all I could do was roll my eyes.
Not wanting to get too technical on a comedy, I must still say the first twenty minutes or so felt like the film was edited by an amateur. It was very frustrating to laugh so hard at a scene, and then be clocked out because a number of cast members’ heads were cut off. This is a mistake not common in small films, but the ball was clearly dropped here. Earlier I spoke about the great comedy, and it was apparent throughout. Though all jokes didn’t knock it out of the park, and some lasted a bit too long, they were still great in the beginning of the movie. I’m not sure what the film was going for with the racist jokes, but the depiction of the white Nazi gang, and blacks in the ‘hood was the worst part of the film. Not only was it over the top with stereotypes, but the attempt at acting was also embarrassing. This could’ve been handled much better, but it was treated as an afterthought.
Overall, if you’re a fan of these two actors, you won’t be disappointed. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard with a comedic duo. Both Ferrell and Hart take what they’re best at, and lay it all on the screen. Yes, the ending of the story felt bland and abrupt. Some jokes lasted too long, while others felt choppy in a few brief moments. Though I can honestly say I laughed every 10 seconds for at least 40 minutes straight. It’s entertaining enough to warrant a sequel. They both knew their place, and if something was polished to the highest degree it’s clear that it wasn’t their fault. This won’t be a contemporary classic, like The Hangover or Bridesmaids, but it is still a comedy to recommend to your friends circle.