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Talladega Nights (2006)
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Review Date: August 01, 2006
Director: Adam McKay
Writer: Adam McKay, Will Ferrell
Producers: Judd Apatow, Jimmy Miller
Actors:
Will Ferrell as Ricky
John C. Reilly as Cal
Gary Cole as Reese
Plot:
Ricky Bobby likes to drive fast and doesn’t have much else going on in his little mind. As an adult, Ricky channels his love of the chase into a Nascar championship and a vapid, super-hot wife, but ultimately gets into a career-ending crash. Will Ricky ever get past his fear of driving and get back on the saddle? Not sure, but if Tom Cruise has anything to do with it, you know he’ll kick ass again!
Critique:
An entertaining movie to be sure, but one that doesn’t necessarily start off with a bang or finish with one either. That aside, I was smiling through most of this movie, thanks to the “dumb guy” antics of Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, both of whom are ideal doofuses (doofi?) and loving it! The scene in which the two go mano-a-mano in Ferrell’s home is one for the books. Unfortunately, the film doesn’t have too many laugh-out-loud moments, but it does pack in plenty of laughs, especially once the great Sacha Baron Cohen (aka Ali G/aka Borat) climbs into his gay French driver seat and keeks all kinds of Reekee-Boobee ass! The rest of the supporting cast is also having a bunch of fun, including the hot and sexy Leslie Bibb looking hot and sexy, the underrated Gary Cole, who once again, steals scenes from the bigger names, as well as cute supporting bits from folks like Molly Shannon and Andy Richter. Unfortunately for us, the film flies by and is ultimately a little too packed with “name comedians”, many of whom don’t get enough screen-time, like the aforementioned Shannon and Richter, as well as cutie-pie Amy Adams and the always-funny Jane Lynch and David Koechner. That said, it was nice to see Ferrell back in top form again (“That just happened!!”), acting as clueless and funny as ever, particularly in any scene in which he was running around in his white underwear.

The storyline is pretty basic here, but I did appreciate the film’s “Sandler touch” with a little heart injected into its plot via Ricky Bobby’s backstory with his dad. I for one…bought it! The film did have way too many product placements (Applebee’s should just have been named as Executive Producer on the film), but I guess that sorta goes with the whole Nascar circuit. The racing stuff was also decent, but to be honest with you, it kinda made me miss the comedy more, as I’m not really a big fan of cars going around a circle for hours on end. The action was pretty well shot though, and they always tried to keep the jokes coming, which helped (“I’m flying through the air.”). One joke that was completely “played out” to me was the whole “shake and bake” rap that the boys had between one another though…it just went on for too long; the secret is to know when to stop, kids. But everything with Cohen was hilarious, Ferrell and his dad were the shit and chances are that if you got a kick out of Ferrell’s moronic anchorman character in ANCHORMAN, you’ll get a decent amount of guffaws out of this companion piece as well (although I missed Paul Rudd). All in all, the film delivers exactly what it promises: laughs, goofball antics, plenty of hilarious non-sequiturs, some hot chicks, car action and Ferrell back in the saddle. And remember…that just happened!!
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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