Photo: Warner Brothers Pictures
Starring: Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart,Alison Brie, Craig T. Nelson, Tip “T.I.” Harris
Release Date: March 27th, 2015
Directed by: Etan Cohen
Rated R for sexual content and crude language throughout, male nudity, drug-related material
Will Ferrell and Adam McKay are the creative geniuses behind comedy website Funny or Die. McKay also served as a producer on this film. Those expecting something along the lines of their usual brand of humour (the requisite crude toilet jokes that resonate well with teenage boys) will be surprised by “Get Hard.” Whether that is a pleasant surprise or not… well, I’ll leave that to the viewer.
This time around, Will Ferrell is James King, a millionaire hedge fund manager convicted of securities fraud. He is sentenced to 10 years hard time at San Quentin and given 30 days to get his affairs in order. Used to a life of luxury and creature comforts, King panics: how will he survive being on the inside? He decides that he needs someone with experience, someone who can teach him the ins and outs of prison life, someone who knows how to “get hard”: the guy who washes his car every week, Darnell Lewis (Hart). There’s only one problem: Darnell has never actually been to jail. Due to his insulated, privileged upbringing, King assumes that he has. Darnell, however, is more than happy to let him believe this, as the money made from being King’s jail mentor will mean a nicer house and a better life for his family. Hijinks and hilarity ensue as James King gets daily lessons in “getting hard”.
This film is much like any other Will Ferrell vehicle: Ferrell overacts with gusto, sobbing hysterically (and hilariously) after finding out his sentence and demonstrating his penchant for physical humour and crass jokes. He is definitely in his element in “Get Hard.” Hart, a comedy natural, portrays Darnell’s bravado with ease. Unlike most Ferrell films, this one seems to be somewhat of a commentary on the way the richest people in America tend to get away with heinous crimes, while poorer people (often minorities) are statistically more likely to be incarcerated at least once in their lives. However, it doesn’t quite count as a satire. Rapper and sometimes-actor T.I. does a solid turn as Darnell’s gangster cousin Russell. The ending is rather predictable and somewhat rushed, but overall I found “Get Hard” quite enjoyable. Easily offended people will cringe at the male nudity and racist jokes interspersed throughout the film.
VERDICT: See, if you’re a fan of Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart, and/or FunnyorDie.com. Otherwise, don’t waste your time.