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Review: Get Hard

Get Hard
03.25.2015
3 10

PLOT: A white-collar businessman (Will Ferrell) is found guilty of fraud and sentenced to ten years in a super-max prison. Faced with the prospect of jail-house rape, he hires the only black person he knows – a meek family man (Kevin Hart) who he thinks is an ex-con – to teach him how to be tough in stir.

REVIEW: It's incomprehensible how a movie like GET HARD can be so unfunny despite being packed to the gills with comic talent. Will Ferrell rarely misses, and even his worst vehicles usually have at least some redeeming funny bits. Kevin Hart, while admittedly having a spottier track record, can similarly elevate lame material and at times even excel (his Real Husbands of Hollywood BET show is quite funny). Both flounder horribly here, with Hart being noticeably toned-down (despite the R-rating) and Ferrell struggling mightily with uncharacteristically mean-spirited humor which doesn't seem to come naturally to him. The result is an absolute mess of a movie that will likely disappoint even the duo's most fervent fans.

GET HARD actually plays out like a Gene Wilder/Richard Pryor vehicle, but not one of the funny ones like SILVER STREAK or STIR CRAZY. Rather, this is ANOTHER YOU-level bad, with the two having virtually zero comic chemistry. Each seems totally wrapped-up in his own shtick, and their styles of comedy clash – badly. Hart is at his best playing a kind of everyman-style character, which is what he's doing here, as a family guy just trying to save enough money to move to a safer neighborhood so his daughter can attend a school without metal detectors. On the other hand, Ferrell – as usual – is playing a super broad caricature of an entitled one-percenter. Paired-up, these characters don't work as each is really just doing his own thing.

It's rare to see Ferrell in a hard-R movie but GET HARD squanders the comic possibilities of an unleashed Ferrell on a screenplay that's just a laundry list of lame cliches. The movie tries to make a point about racial stereotyping while indulging in those same stereotypes, and the “gay panic” angle feels like something out of a movie from twenty years ago. A scene where Ferrell attempts to perform fellatio on a gay-bar pickup is especially dumb, with the gay men at the bar acting like Dom DeLuise in BLAZING SADDLES. Now, don't mistake this for some kind of P.C rant. The fact is, GET HARD could have been offensive as hell, but if it was funny it wouldn't have mattered. Director Etan Cohen previously wrote TROPIC THUNDER. That one was funny enough to “go there.” GET HARD isn't anywhere near clever enough to cross-the-line, and a bit where Hart tries to get Ferrell to say “the n-word” was met with uncomfortable silence at the screening I attended.

What's interesting is that GET HARD actually fares better when the two leads are split up. Hart's domestic scenes with his wife (Edwina Findley) are actually quite charming. The same thing goes for Ferrell, who plays sensationally well off Alison Brie as his trophy-fiancee in the early scenes (too bad she's written out after the first act). Even better are his scenes opposite rapper T.I as a local gangsta who takes a liking to Ferrell and wants him to join his gang. They could have replaced Hart with the legitimately hard T.I and you would have had a movie that was still potentially offensive, but at least would have been funny.

Make no mistake, GET HARD is bad, but it's probably not quite as disastrous as some of the more outraged reviews out of SXSW are having you believe. It's definitely not at all successful, but it'll probably do OK at the box office due to goodwill towards the two leads, and then be quickly forgotten. It's doubtful that either Hart or Ferrell's fans are going to get much out of this, and it'll likely make their pairing a one-and-done kind of thing, which is certainly for the best. I shudder at the thought of a GET HARDER.

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

Source: JoBlo.com

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12:53PM on 03/26/2015
Seems like all the complaints I see about this movie are it's "too offensive" sounds right up my alley.
Seems like all the complaints I see about this movie are it's "too offensive" sounds right up my alley.
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11:50AM on 03/26/2015
More Hollywood garbage.
More Hollywood garbage.
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9:19AM on 03/26/2015

"Will Ferrell rarely misses"

Except for
The Internship
The Campaign
Casa de mi Padre
Megamind
Everything must go
The Other Guys
...c'mon, that was just the flops he's done in the last 5 years!




Except for
The Internship
The Campaign
Casa de mi Padre
Megamind
Everything must go
The Other Guys
...c'mon, that was just the flops he's done in the last 5 years!




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9:36AM on 03/26/2015
He wasn't in the Internship.
He wasn't in the Internship.
10:10AM on 03/26/2015
He had a cameo in the Internship.

But half of those are not outright misses.
He had a cameo in the Internship.

But half of those are not outright misses.
1:23PM on 03/26/2015
Oh yeah. The mattress salesman.
Oh yeah. The mattress salesman.
2:39PM on 03/26/2015
The other guys was great
The other guys was great
8:38AM on 03/26/2015

Im all for watching this

Most Will Ferrell movies don't do it for me the first time or two that I watch them, usually repeat viewings work best with his movies
Most Will Ferrell movies don't do it for me the first time or two that I watch them, usually repeat viewings work best with his movies
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8:19AM on 03/26/2015
So Ferrell went full retard?
So Ferrell went full retard?
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7:27AM on 03/26/2015

Ferrell and Hart never felt like an inspired pairing.

It was just Ferrell teaming up with a Flavor of the month.
It was just Ferrell teaming up with a Flavor of the month.
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3:04AM on 03/26/2015
This would've been so much better if Hart had Ferrels character come live with him in the ghetto for a week and really do some crazy street type shit to get him ready for prison. That would've been hilarious. This just looks all kinds of terrible.
This would've been so much better if Hart had Ferrels character come live with him in the ghetto for a week and really do some crazy street type shit to get him ready for prison. That would've been hilarious. This just looks all kinds of terrible.
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2:55PM on 03/26/2015
You just think about all kinds of old films like Coming to America or Blazing Sadles and you realize how funny this could have been If it had been made by actuall comedic geniuses.
You just think about all kinds of old films like Coming to America or Blazing Sadles and you realize how funny this could have been If it had been made by actuall comedic geniuses.
2:45AM on 03/26/2015

Figured as much

Who still thinks that a white guy acting or trying to act black is funny? My 14 year old nephew...maybe. This is a tired premise not worthy of revisiting and even the trailer couldn't make it look worthwhile.
Who still thinks that a white guy acting or trying to act black is funny? My 14 year old nephew...maybe. This is a tired premise not worthy of revisiting and even the trailer couldn't make it look worthwhile.
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1:17AM on 03/26/2015

Ugh

I just knew this review was going to mention political correctness. Ugh.
I just knew this review was going to mention political correctness. Ugh.
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8:15AM on 03/26/2015
Try reading it again.
Try reading it again.
12:49AM on 03/26/2015
Yeah I pretty much called this when I saw the trailer.
When you have a not that great concept, but someting thats still got some comedic potential, and the trailer just comes off like you're struggling to get even mildly amusing material out of it the movies probably not going to be good. Not to mention this probably couldent be coming out at a worse time. I have to admit though that comment about it being offensive made me think how damn funny it could have been If it had been made back in
Yeah I pretty much called this when I saw the trailer.
When you have a not that great concept, but someting thats still got some comedic potential, and the trailer just comes off like you're struggling to get even mildly amusing material out of it the movies probably not going to be good. Not to mention this probably couldent be coming out at a worse time. I have to admit though that comment about it being offensive made me think how damn funny it could have been If it had been made back in the day when stuff was Really politiclly incorrect and comedy was Really funny (think Blazing Sadles).
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+0
12:12AM on 03/26/2015

LOL.....How many bad movies in a row does this guy have to have....

....before people start calling him Will Sandler?
....before people start calling him Will Sandler?
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12:12AM on 03/26/2015
Wow, wasn't expecting that low of a score. I'd be lieing if I said it didn't look midly entertaining.
Wow, wasn't expecting that low of a score. I'd be lieing if I said it didn't look midly entertaining.
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