Film Review: ‘Get Hard’ Starring Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart
It’s a flimsy storyline (the premise of which has been done previously), but in a comedy, you don’t necessarily need the greatest plot, especially if you have two terrific talents as the lead roles. And though neither Ferrell nor Hart stray from their typecast roles, they still fill them well. Ferrell does a decent job as a brilliant and innocent man who is willing to do whatever he needs to in order to make it out of prison alive. He isn’t asked to do much other than be Will Ferrell, and those who love his style won’t be disappointed.
It becomes quickly obvious, though, that this is a vessel for Hart as much as it is for Will. Kevin’s rapid-fire line delivery couples with his false bravado perfectly, and he steals just about every scene he’s in. Hart is well-cast as a family man who is in well over his head trying to be a specious expert.
Ferrell and Hart do an excellent job playing off of each other, but in the end it just isn’t enough. Rookie director/writer Etan Cohen (whose previous writing credits include Idiocracy, Tropic Thunder, and Men in Black 3) creates some excellent scenes with a few truly hilarious lines, but after a while even Will and Kevin can’t completely rescue the script, which feels strained at times trying to stretch out a joke for an hour and a half.
Sadly, the supporting cast doesn’t do much to help the cause. There’s a brief appearance by Matt Walsh that’s good for a laugh or two (as well as possibly some cringing), and rapper T.I. is serviceable as Russell, Darnell’s cousin whom he recruits to help King out, but all in all the supporting cast is fairly forgettable.
It’s unfortunate, really, because Kevin and Will are without equivocation two of the big names in comedy right now. If they had a better script to work with, Get Hard could easily have been a summer hit. The film touches on some social issues pertinent to St. Louis, namely the unease that can exist between people from different racial backgrounds. There is one scene in particular in which the main characters discuss the appropriateness of using a particular racial epithet that would make for an interesting separate discussion, but the film glosses over it for the sake of pace.
All in all, Get Hard isn’t terrible, but given the talent behind it, it doesn’t really live up to its potential. If you’re a Will Ferrell or Kevin Hart die-hard supporter, add a full letter grade to my review and get out there and see it. As far as comedies, though, it has a semi-original story, but the plot’s been done before, and it’s been done better.
Get Hard gets a C+.