The rather dubiously titled Get Hard is the latest comedy written by Etan Cohen the man responsible for writing Tropic Thunder and Men in Black III. Whilst he’s no stranger to writing this is his first movie as a director and Get Hard is a little hit and miss.
James King (Will Ferrell) is wrongfully accused of fraud and embezzlement and is sentenced to ten years in a hard prison. Being a white guy from the right side of Bel Air, James employs his car washing guy Darnell Lewis (Kevin Hart) to harden him up for life on the inside. He has thirty days for Darnell, who incidentally has never been to prison to teach him all there is to know about life on the inside.
What ensues is thirty days of Darnell turning James’ Bel Air mansion into a prison and bluffing his way through teaching King all about Thug Life. It’s a learning curve for James as between the two of them they muddle their way through gang land and gay bars in an effort to turn James into a mad dog.
The movie has a pretty basic story line that has been done before with similar themes in Rob Schneider’s Big Stan. So the movie is really not breaking any new ground at all. Towards the end of the movie it is apparent that the racial and social gap has been bridged and the two have become friends. Predictably Darnell tries to clear his friends name by catching the real bad guy.
Whilst the movie is at times funny it is Kevin Hart with his bulldog- like approach to delivering lines that garner the most laughs. Some of the jokes and one lines delivered by Ferrell are a little rough and racial stereotyping is quite prevalent rather than being funny it is cringe- worthy racism at its worst. There are also a few too many cheap laughs at the start of the film with unnecessary views of Ferrell’s naked butt; a rather juvenile way to get a laugh. Once Kevin Hart steps in it does get better.
It’s one of those movies that without the right casting could have been a lot worse. Luckily Kevin Hart is a huge talent that manages to drag this comedy over the line and he is quite brilliant on screen. The movie is worth a look as there are times where it is good, but it is probably not going to end up as a comedy classic that viewers will want to see time and time again.