Get Hard (Movie Review)

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A movie not as bad as one may think. Get Hard stars two of the most prominent comedic actors of our time in a racially-indecent and occasionally-flat film that never truly made me laugh, but did make me smirk a couple of times. This crude-humored movie surprised me with overwhelmingly thrilling action sequences and an encaptivating plot. What truly kept this film interesting and watchable in my opinion was the wonderful on-screen chemistry between Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart. But the movie was not great. Many of the jokes were tired and lazy would occasionally dabble in the racist and insensitive.

The cast, which was led by Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart, was remarkably talented and stood out as one of the few aspects keeping this film afoot. Will Ferrell stars as James King, a wealthy hedge fund manager facing ten years at Sab Quentin. Kevin Hart plays Ferrell’s character’s car washer, Darnell Lewis, who gives King lessons in how to survive the ten years or how to ‘get hard’. These two comedians have wonderful screen chemistry and manage to make some of the tired gags mildly amusing. One scene stood out to me where Ferrell has a knife lodges in his head as Hart is trying to drive him home; the scene had fairly childish screenwriting as Ferrell’s character begins yelling random words, but Hart manages to make this scene mildly amusing anyways. Hart and Ferrell did not make up for the sadly thin screenplay and story, but they made it more watchable than it perhaps should have been. But they were not the only actors in the movie who did well in making the movie watchable; Craig Nelson and Alison Brie play Ferrell’s boss and to-be father-in-law and his fiancé respectively. With their minor roles these two fairly well-recognized actors help make Ferrell’s character more compelling and likeable than it probably should have been. Edwina Dickerson and Adriana Neal, who play Hart’s wife and daughter, help do the same to Hart’s character. T.I., Ron Funches, and Jon Eyez play a gang of African-American who agree to help Ferrell with his time in prison in exchange for help with managing their financials. These three actors truly add some very amusing character to the film; Ron Funches especially stands out to me.

The screenplay by Jay Martel, Ian Roberts and Etan Cohen is a lousy parade of poor humor that is only watchable due to the wonderfully talented work of the actors and the decent direction by Etan Cohen. It seemed the screenwriters had not really thought out any of the characters fully as it seemed both the leading characters flip-flopped between being smart and dumb from scene to scene; I understand that the premise was that Hart’s character was supposed to be the street-smart one and Ferrell was supposed to be the book-smart character, but there were scenes where these roles wavered. With all things said though, there were a few moments when an offhand comment by Kevin Hart’s character were fairly funny, but the big jokes never really satisfied. The story in itself was fairly predictable, but did have a few moments when I got very into the plot. The most significant of these was a scene involving a gang of neo-Nazis (that had some questionable jokes) where the action was thrilling and encaptivating. The climax scene of the film failed to do the same though which may have been a combination of awkward direction and the lousy screenplay. The story was also fairly uneven and weirdly paced.

Altogether the movie managed to entertain for its 100-minute runtime even though it may have occasionally offended. The cast was what truly kept the film watchable and decent; and the direction was decent with the exceptions of a few awkward scenes that really didn’t work—most notably the climax. The jokes were old, tired and ragged and the screenplay was confused, but the story was fine.

 

Best Aspect- “Was that a gunshot? You have to go? Okay.”

Worst Aspect- The anti-climactic climax

Rating- 3.3/10

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