Get Hard

Get Hard photo starrating-1star.jpgComedy Is Not Pretty! was a 1979 album by Steve Martin. But he might as well been talking about the directorial debut effort from writer Etan Cohen. And I use “effort” in the loosest definition of the word. The plot concerns a filthy rich stockbroker named James King (Ferrell) who is arrested for embezzlement. His gold digging fiancée (Alison Brie) also happens to be the boss‘ daughter. Her father Martin Barrow (Craig T. Nelson ) was going to make James a partner in his company Barrow Funds. Despite his assertions to the contrary, the judge finds James guilty and sentences him to ten years at San Quentin, with only 30 days to get his affairs in order. During this time he relies on his boss to prove his innocence. Meanwhile James contacts his car washer, Darnell Lewis (Kevin Hart) to teach him how to toughen up so that he will be able to survive in prison.

In Get Hard, Ferrell and Hart are the worst comedy duo since Clooney and O’Donnell in Batman & Robin. It doesn’t help that the premise is artificially fabricated for laughs without a lick of sense. Rather than trying to prove James’ innocence, Darnell just decides to prepare him for prison life by transforming his luxurious estate into a prison. This leads to a lot of really lame bits that simply rely on the stars’ personas to nail the joke. Instead of exploiting conventions, the screenplay wallows in them never rising above hackneyed stereotypes that were already tired in the 80s. The scene at an outdoor L.A. cafe with an all-gay clientele is the nadir. No wait, make that the moment that follows in the restaurant’s bathroom.  It reminded me that Ryan O’Neal and John Hurt did a forgotten buddy comedy in 1982 called Partners. That was bad. This is worse.

Ok I’ll admit there are a few scattered jokes that are amusing. At their engagement party, James’ fiancée introduces John Mayer as the surprise entertainment and her father leans over to her and asks, “Who’s John Mayer?“ In another bit, Kevin Hart impersonates several personalities in a prison exercise yard. As he jumps around in a frenzy changing his voice and demeanor to suit various characters, I saw talent.

Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart can be funny but you’d never know it from this lazily written time waster. Even the title is a double entendre that sounds like a 5th grader made it up. Ok hold up. That’s not fair, I’m underestimating the wit of a 10 year old. Get Hard is based on the stale conceit that if you combine a tall uptight white guy with a short streetwise black guy then laughs will follow. This is a bloated vehicle for two stars to just act silly and film what happens. A paper thin premise is stretched to fill 100 minutes that has fewer chuckles than a visit to the dentist. In this case, multiplying two positives actually equals a negative.

03-31-15

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19 Responses to “Get Hard”

  1. Yess!! I love it.

    I had to Google ‘nadir,’ but now I’m going to be somewhat comfortable describing this little outing as hopefully the nadir of 2015 comedy. Get Hard was awful. And I didn’t even much care for the John Mayer bits as they sseemed to be some of most obvious ways to shoehorn in a musician who needs no further promotion; it’s not like any of us have forgotten who he is. Or, maybe that’s what Cohen was suggesting.

    • I doubt many 70 year olds know who he is and I found the light dig at John Mayer’s fame amusing.

      And yes, Get Hard is definitely the “lowest point” of comedy this year so far. 😀

  2. Good review Mark. I usually love Hart and Ferrell. Just not here.

  3. Great review. Love it when you’re a bit mean. It looks like this one totally deserved it.

  4. Remember when you told me I was ‘too mean’ in my reviews??!!! haqhahahahha you just topped me out in a BIG way! hahahaha I love it. I just was nicer because I think my expectations were so low and I thought they worked better together than I thought they would. Not gonna lie..I laughed at some parts.. mostly as noted though, I just eyerolled! 🙂

    • Ha ha. That must’ve been someone else. I might’ve said I enjoyed a particular movie more but I certainly don’t think you’re “too mean”. One’s opinion should never be suppressed. Cheers! 😀

  5. GaryGreg828 Says:

    Dude, you really have to get a sense of humor. You cannot tell me it wasn’t hilarious on the preview when Ferrell & Hart are sitting in the car and Will says “Hey, I forgot the gin & juice!” LOLOLOL!!!!!!! A white guy said “gin & juice”! LOLOLOL!!!! So clever!!!

    I am actually surprised you went to see this turd nugget. Everything you described here is exactly what I thought it’d be. What a shame to combine this duo and then produce this cliche-riddled garbage.

    And since when did judges sentence people to prison, but give them 30 days to get their affairs in order? Is that a real thing? lol.

    • Will Ferrell can take so-so material and make it funnier. Talladega Nights, Blades of Glory and The Other Guys all benefited from his presence. This, however, was not one of those cases.

      • GaryGreg828 Says:

        Yeah, his character does not look funny in the slightest on the previews; how do you take Will Ferrell and make him unfunny? A daunting challenge. But they excelled.

  6. Aw! I thought this looked funny. I stopped in for about ten minutes of it (the scene where Kevin Hart recounts Boyz N the Hood to Will Ferrell as if it were his own story) and laughed pretty hard. Though I guess that’s just me…a lot of the comedy here seemed to be based on the idiotic facial expressions among the duo (I’ve heard a number of people tell me the same, so I must not be imagining things). I thought Will Ferrell was funny in his reactions to Kevin Hart during this scene, but I guess even the village idiot can contort his face.

    I should probably see the whole film before I make a final judgment. Then again, if your review is any indication, it might be best if I just stay away from this one.

  7. I originally wanted to see this. But After reading this scathing review, maybe not. I like Will Farrell and Kevin Hart, but I think I’ll skip this.

  8. Clooney and O’Donnell were a terrible comedic team, but I don’t think Ferrell and Hart were that bad together. They didn’t have as a strong a chemistry as I would have hoped, but personally I felt that a lot of that had to do with the material and the laziness of it (which you talk about a fair bit in your review). I’ll agree that the cafe scene wasn’t very good, but for me there was something hilarious (whether it was intended or not) that this guy’s most terrifying problem is that he *might* have to have sex with a man. I think it shines a light on how much of this country is still comically homophobic. The prison yard bit with Hart playing multiple parts made me laugh, as did Ferrell’s unusual trash talking and his wimpy attempts to fight people at the park. The title is lazy, as is all the jokes derived from it. But I’ve seen much worse comedies over the past year or two than this.

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