‘Get Hard:’ Movie Review

March 31, 2015 1 Comment

This definitely wasn’t one of the most anticipated films in 2015, but it was on my list of movies I wanted to see. Not because I really wanted to see the film, but because I haven’t seen any trailers or commercials for the movie since I’ve seen the original promo poster back in December.

Most of all, I wanted to see what could be accomplished when you combined the comedic powers of Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart. Considering that I took on this film without ever seeing a single trailer for it, my expectations can go either way, and the movie manages to deliver. Somewhat…

The film centers around two characters. One of whom is a successful millionaire broker-dealer (my kind of movie, already) by the name of James King. He is pretty much living the life you can imagine from any Wall Street 1 percenter type: lovely mansion, model fiancé (Alison Brie), and he was just announced partner at his father-in-law’s hedge fund.

The other character goes by the name Darnell, who is not as successful. In fact, he is downright struggling at his business, and he just can’t same to get a break. He needs extra capital to keep his business afloat and the bank refuses to provide him with a loan.

Long-story-short (well, it is actually a short story), James get indicted by the SEC (or FBI, in the film’s case) for securities fraud and embezzlement. He’s offered a plea agreement, but claiming his innocence, he decides to take the case to trial, and naturally he losses. Given the anti-wall street sentiment of story, he is sentence to live out his life in a maximum security prison. From there, everything goes down hill for Mr. King. Even his fiancé decides to leave him.

Fearing that he won’t last very long in prison, King decides to hide at the car wash he regularly frequents, owned by Darnell. Darnell gives James some information on the prison he is scheduled to stay in, mostly involving about how dangerous it is. Fascinated by the information (and considering he has nothing to lose), James desperately wants Darnell to mentor him on the ways of ‘prison culture.’ At the same time while Darnell decides to seize the opportunity to earn enough money to help his struggling business.

The twist is that Darnell is far from a street thug, and hasn’t had so much as a parking ticket within that last 5 years. Lacking knowledge of what life is like on the inside of prison, he decides to get help from his Brother. From there, it turns into one giant random cliche. It all depends on what type of cliche you find the most amusing.

If you enjoy prison humor, this movie has plenty of it. There are several amusing quirks involving being raped, stabbed, prison riots, finding clever ways of hiding weapons, and potentially having to engage in oral sex just to survive. Ironically, the fear of having to engage in oral sex is what drives James to ‘Get Hard,’ and toughen up.

If you also love stereotypical racial jokes, this movie has that too. James King is from a completely different side of the tracks, considering that the only difference between him and Darnell is the color of their skin. This doesn’t stop James from formulating stereotypical ideas of Urban culture and black people.

You can easily start the assumptions about Darnell being a felon, because ‘statistically speaking’ it is likely that he may have spent some time in prison. There is also a pretty amusing scene where James is dressed in a way that appears to be a caricature of a hip-hop artist. As he says in the scene, “it was inspired by Lil’ Wayne.’

In addition to this, you also have the scene where Darnell and James decide to pay their brother, Russell (T.I.) for a deal arranging protection  while James is on the inside, and all hilarity ensues when James tries to mimic urban slang. At first, Russell and his crew aren’t too trusting, but nothing gets through to some cold hard killers like teaching them binary options. Its reminiscent of that time Will Smith dared his cousin, Carlton, to spend sometime in the hood just to see how long he last.

However, given the fact that James King is relatively clueless about urban culture, one would think that he is a genuine racist. However, he can’t be that racist. After all, he has a huge problem saying the N word, even given a free pass by Darnell to just say it once. He even failed to say it for a Nazi Biker gang initiation, but he does provides the audience with a memorable quip, such as, “I’m so racist, my chess set has all white pieces.” Not the most original joke, but pretty amusing when it comes from the mouth of Will Farrell.

Final Verdict: C

Overall, I give this film a C. I wanted to see what would happen when you put Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell in a movie together, and now I know. I love the John Mayer cameo, and I’m a pretty big fan of his work. The acting is somewhat plausible. Then again, the acting is probably the least of your concerns when you are watching a comedy. T.I. gives you a pretty okay performance, given his role, but he’s about as one note as they come. Considering the jokes, the screenwriting and the plot, it’s not a bad film. It’s worth watching if you’re lost on material


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