Kevin Hart plays the role of Darnell--a family man desperate to get enough money to buy a house in a better area to benefit his family's well-being. He is hired by James (Will Ferrell), a wimpy stock trader who is about to go to prison for 10 years, to prepare him for life behind bars. The catch is that James thinks Darnell is an ex-con--not because Darnell told him that, but because James just assumed. Written by
During the prison riot scene, Will Ferrell stabs a cat poster with a shiv. This poster also appeared in The LEGO Movie (2014), in which Will Ferrell and Alison Brie appeared. See more »
When James picks his car at Darnell's cleaning service for the first time he drives away with the trunk opened. You can not see the trunk, but you can see that on his Audi A8 driver's panel that the trunk is open through a red sign right on the center of the panel. See more »
If you're offended by pasty white asses, full frontal male nudity and ridiculous vulgarity, do not bother with Get Hard, the funniest film I've seen in a while. This film declares its intent in the title and its opening frame, right after James King (played to perfection in a vehicle designed for Will Ferrell) cries his eyes out – more about that in a moment. Will Ferrell is a divisive figure. There are people who find him hysterical (I am unabashedly in that camp) and those who just don't see what's so funny. Again, if you're in the latter camp, don't try this film to figure it out. It's unapologetic Will being Will from reel to reel.
Life is perfect for white man James King. He's a one percenter and about to become elite amongst even that slim group with his latest promotion to partner in his soon to be father in law's (Craig T. Nelson) investment firm. His fiancée, Alissa (Alison Brie) declares that he needs to have everything, including her body in every white way possible. He has no idea of the meaning of the silver spoon lodged in his mouth, espousing ridiculous platitudes about the value of hard work in front of all of those "beneath" him.
On the flip side is Darnell (Kevin Hart). He's short, black and broke. He has a lovely wife and an adorable young daughter, who unfortunately goes to a very dangerous elementary school in South Central L.A. because Darnell can't afford the down payment on a house in a better area. It is this heart that makes Darnell immediately likable and grounds James' antics.
Darnell owns a mobile car wash for executives inside of James' building. His need of James' money is obvious – and hilariously rebuffed. When things quickly go south for James and he needs something from Darnell, the backlash is equally hilarious. The odd couple setup is obvious and extremely well played, proving, once again, it's more important to execute than try too hard to be original. And, for the record, I'm also in the camp that everything is derivative (see "everything's a remix" for more), so when it comes to where to place one's effort, it should be in For a moment, I saw shades of an excellent comedy from about thirty years ago, Trading Places. Get Hard goes an entirely different direction and it's not nearly in the same class as Trading Place. But for front line, punch you in the face, over-the-top comedy Get Hard delivers the goods.
There are few taboos the film won't touch – racism, homophobia, class-ism to name a few. Comedy has the ability to skewer, shed light upon and potentially even heal some of these ills. No, I'm not saying this film is on par with Dr. King's "I have a dream" speech, but, for the type of comedy it is, I was impressed by how well it plays the white/black divide angle with more nuance, intrigue and, dare I say it, poignancy than I've seen in a while. Homophobia gets a strong and positive tweaking, too, in Darnell's developing friendship with a gay man after a howlingly funny training scene at a local gay hot spot. For how homosexuality is often viewed in large parts of the popular black culture, it was a big deal to see Darnell having a legitimate, caring friendship on the screen.
But enough attempts at convincing. It's a silly, low-brow, rude comedy by design. To complain about it for being such is like being mad at crocodile for biting. They don't hide their teeth – and neither does Get Hard.
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