REVIEW — “Get Hard”
It’s hard to tell at this point if I was more offended or entertained by “Get Hard.” At its surface, it’s just an R-rated comedy about a pathetic guy needing help to survive in prison. If you start to look a little bit deeper, which most people will not, it’s a very offensive look at society, and plays heavily on unfair/outdated stereotypes. Add in a mention that Pitt bulls are a mad breed of dog, and you have a viewer that will not be recommending this to his dog owner friends. One single line of dialogue was enough to turn off multiple people in my screening, and some even left, and it was when Kevin Hart’s character is trying to explain to Will Ferrell what a mad dog face is. “It’s like when you take a Pitt bull off his chain! RAWR RAWR RAWR.” The breed has trouble enough already, and this stereotype is so untrue that it kills that entire segment. My Pitt, Django, would not be pleased.
For what it’s worth the cast all did fine. This was never meant to be a film with amazing performances, but everyone played their stereotype specific role well. I will say that I think this is rapper T.I.’s best performance to date, but he was playing a typical gang banger, surrounded by typical gang banger friends. Will Ferrell plays the ‘unfortunate’ rich white guy well, and the only main white girl plays a gold digger, and I guess she does that well. See a pattern? Every actor is playing a stereotype, and the film milks it for everything it’s worth. The only exception is Kevin Hart who, the film would have you believe, is playing one of the few black men to have never gone to jail. He and Ferrell have some pretty hilarious back-and-forths, but you get the sense that they never really clicked on set as the chemistry wasn’t quite there.
The story/writing is unoriginal and bland. It’s like they took one prison rape joke, and decided it would make a great movie. Throughout the duration of the run time we are bludgeoned with rape/ethnic joke after rape/ethnic joke. White people are Evil thieves. Black people are hood rat monsters. Rinse. Repeat. Granted, a lot of this stuff actually hits as pretty funny, but as the movie drags on certain scenes are just too long, and lose the comedic effect. Certain jokes you just get tired of hearing, and they stop making you laugh. It takes them so long to get to the final act of this flimsy tale of woe and betrayal that any concern you had for the characters is long gone. Mix this with the weak characters, and you have a plot-less and pointless comedy that is instantly forgettable.
“Get Hard” is a fun, albeit offensive, time at the theaters, but one that is not repeatable. It plays as one long joke that wears out its welcome, and relies heavily on stereotypes and offensive statements. The lack of chemistry and development of characters and plot turn this into something that is hard to talk about later, and a few too many jokes fall flat. However, it should be noted that there are still a lot of funny moments, but they feel almost forced and awkward (like Ferrell is just trying too hard). Ferrell might be going the way of Vince Vaughn doing the same shtick over and over again, and audiences might burn out. 2.5/5