Premise: Will Ferrell plays a very rich white guy who will be going to prison for fraud in 30 days. Kevin Hart plays a poor(er) black guy who needs $30k to move his family out of a bad neighborhood. Being that Will Ferrell’s character is naive, he gets tricked by Kevin Hart’s character into paying for Hart’s training on how to survive in prison, in which Hart has never been. Get Hard is certainly no Walk Hard. And it’s definitely no Get Shorty.
-The first 25-30 minutes are actually pretty funny, because the movie is still working on a story with momentum. After the first act, it sort of starts to drag, but it’s good at first.
-There’s a lot of good jokes at the expense of the wealthy, probably more so than racially charged jokes at the expense of the poor. The line by Craig T. Nelson’s character that got one of the best chuckles out of me was, “I built this company from scratch. It was just me, that computer, and an eight million dollar loan from my father.”
-I will admit, I don’t really care much for Kevin Hart’s brand of humor, but he didn’t sink this ship. In fact, he seemed much more restrained in Get Hard than he does in the trailers and commercials for all his other movies that I don’t want to see ever.
-In fact, that one scene where Hart plays three different prison characters actually had a really funny energy to it. Like, for a couple of minutes, I understood why Kevin Hart might be so popular.
-Nobody in show business yells a louder, harder, or more comical F-bomb than Will Ferrell. NOBODY.
-Will Ferrell joining the Crenshaw Kings was a pretty worthwhile bit. It was almost as good as the Gator scenes from The Other Guys.
-It should be 20 minutes shorter, and it felt like a 2+ hour long movie even though it was less than 100 minutes.
-The middle of the movie starts to just become a series of prison simulation gags that don’t actually move the story along. It’s kind of just like, “Here’s all our ideas. Enjoy whichever ones stick.” (probably only about half of them do)
-It fails as a commentary on the different classes. And you could tell they were trying to make it that with some of their more on-the-nose jokes. It’s just too much of a dumb comedy to be anything other than a dumb comedy.
-So even though Kevin Hart’s character says he was adopted by white people at an early age, he still has a gangbanger cousin in Crenshaw he keeps in touch with, who he hates? I guess they needed him as a plot device or whatever. Who cares, I guess? There’s my nitpicking moment of the review.
-The last 30 minutes or so are full of pretty bad jokes.
-Didn’t Bob Odenkirk already basically make this movie with Will Arnett in 2006?
Final Thoughts: It’s definitely not as bad as I thought it was going to be. I’m not surprised that it has a 29% on Rotten Tomatoes, because I am also giving it a negative rating, but it’s a bit misleading because it’s not like a 1 out of 10 complete trainwreck of a movie that everyone hates with a passion. It’s just a generally bad movie that most people wouldn’t recommend. It’s a passable Redbox movie. You might not feel like you’ve totally wasted your time on it if you only pay $1 and watch it at home. You could find a better comedy from both of the stars elsewhere, though. But I’m going to forget I even watched Get Hard about 3 weeks from now. Guarantee it.
5.5 out of 10