Starring: Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart, Alison Brie, Craig T. Nelson, Edwina Findley Dickerson
Directed By: Etan Cohen
Written By: Jay Martel, Ian Roberts, Etan Cohen
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 1 hr 40 min
Racial stereotypes and income equality provide plenty of laughs in this generation’s Trading Places. Contrasting the super wealthy against the 99%, in a story that doesn’t get too bogged down in the social debate, and makes full use of the comedic talents of Kevin Hart and Will Farrell.
As movie premises go, Get Hard is a great idea, and allows the filmmakers to take a series of playful jabs at some of today’s hot button topics. It simultaneously reinforces stereotypes, while also debunking them. And wisely includes all sides of each social debate, while only giving them a light touch as to not cloud the film’s main objective; to make the audience laugh.
Will Farrell is great as the white-collar Bel Air one-percenter, James King, but the real star of the show is Kevin Hart. His high energy fast talking style is reminiscent of Eddie Murphy’s Billy Rae Valentine in Trading Places. But Kevin cuts harder, and hits funnier, and the couple of scenes where he simulates prison life had me in tears!
Ethan Cohen, who until now was best known for writing Tropic Thunder and Idiocracy, makes his directorial debut with Get Hard. And based on the evidence presented here, seems to appreciate great comic talent, and shoots simply to let his stars and script do their thing. Get Hard wears its R rating with pride, but lands shy of being too crass. Sure it resorts to some crude humor, but those moments are kept to an effective minimum.
This touches on some current hot button issues, but doesn’t chant an overly liberal or conservative bias as far as I’m concerned. This film is more interested in exploiting these issues for comedic value only. This is a R rated comedy, so expect bad language, nudity, and some moments of very crude humor.
While this isn’t really big on visual spectacle, it is still the kind of film best watched in a crowded theater.
Darnell (Kevin Hart) tries to explain how the territories in the prison yard operate, and rapidly switches between three totally different characters to simulate the factions James King will have to deal with in prison.