Get Hard – Movie Review
Get Hard – R
Release Date: Fri 27 Mar 2015
Will Ferrell plays a naive but talented stockbroker (James) who receives a maximum sentence for alleged fraud and embezzlement. He enlists Darnell (Kevin Hart) to prepare him for ten years in maximum security prison under the assumption that Darnell, being black, has spent time in jail. Darnell has no criminal past, but seizes the opportunity to make the money he needs to move his family to a better neighborhood.
Get Hard is tantamount to an extended Funny or Die sketch, with sections that work (James’ scenes with Darnell’s gang banger cousin’s crew) and sections that drag on forever (the first third is almost entirely made of gay panic jokes about prison rape.) There are little surprises after the red band trailer shows many of the highlights and visual gags, and the movie seems to coast in a montage for long stretches without much of any plot.
Ferrell and Hart have good comedic chemistry, with Ferrell playing a very timid character that only eventually – and only slightly – becomes closer to the blustering characters we’ve seen before. The rest of the cast are relegated to a few scenes or cameos, including Allison Brie as Ferrell’s fiance (and the boss’ daughter) and Craig T. Nelson as the boss. Darnell’s family (Edwina Findley Dickerson as his wife, Ariana Neal as his daughter) are also mostly absent from the proceedings, but are played well to give Darnell depth.
Get Hard is fairly consistent at keeping your attention based on Ferrell and Hart’s chemistry, but in the end the movie is mostly forgettable. It’s a shame that we don’t get to some of the more fun parts until late in the game. James teaching the gang how to invest in the stock market is a funny concept that could certainly have used more screen time than yet another prison rape reference. All in all, if you’re a fan of Ferrell and Adam McKay’s work, you’re likely to enjoy Get Hard as well.
Cal and I saw it in the theater and had a discussion in the car: