• Will Ferrell plays an innocent man headed to prison in “Get Hard.”
• Writers fill script with endless prison rape jokes.
• Social humor not smart enough to work
“Get Hard’ isn’t merely a major disaster, it’s the Titanic of comedy movies. Weighed down by endless jokes about prison rape, relentless homophobia and a bevy of absurd stereotypes, this Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart film sinks into an abyss of failure.
Ferrell plays James King, a masterful investment banker who is falsely accused of embezzlement. In an act of swift judgment, King’s charged, tried and sentenced to 10 years in a maximum security prison within a month.
To survive in prison, King knows he needs to get hard. He turns for help from the only black person he knows, Darnell (Kevin Hart), the guy who washes his car. King reasons since Darnell is black, he must have gone to prison.
He convinces Darnell to train him so he can survive once he gets behind bars. Darnell has never been to jail but takes the deal to get the down payment he needs to move his family to a better neighborhood.
Screen writers Ian Roberts and Jay Martel have taken a very interesting approach to “Get Hard.” It’s a bold move to pen a screenplay for a comedy and not include a single funny line. Their idea of comedy is to have King train in his Bel Air home that has been changed to look like a prison.
With a void of any good written material, Ferrell and Hart fall back on the rants, raves and awkward nudity the comics have used in failed attempts to save other movies — there’s so little material in “Get Hard” that it only takes a minute for Ferrell to lose his clothes. The effort continues to be bare when it comes to any humor.
Hart’s contribution is a painfully long scene where he pretends to be three different prisoners. Any glimmer of humor gets beat into the ground as novice director Etan Cohen allows the scene to go on an eternity too long.
Roberts and Martel are depending on the audience ignoring all of the obvious plot holes. But consider this: King’s a masterful money man who can’t seem to figure out how he got falsely accused. Who’s going to miss that?
To distract the moviegoers, the writers load the movie with every type of stereotype. Blacks are thugs who carry guns, only stop drinking to do drugs, treat women like sex objects and talk like they have a third-grade education. Hispanics are housekeepers or gardeners. Whites are either rich and unaware or supremacists.
The only good thing that can be said about “Get Hard” is that it’s an equal opportunity offender.
But, the comedy is not good enough to create the satirical edge this kind of social humor needs. All the painfully bad script does does is lead to uncomfortable and offensive moments.
It only takes a few minutes to show that “Get Hard” is an uninspired excuse for a comedy. Then it proceeds to reinforce the point over the next 98 minutes through the actors mugging for the cameras, the endless discussion of prison rape and a story that falls apart in seconds.
“Get Hard” is a major movie disaster.