Review: Get Hard
If close-to-the-knuckle comedy isn’t your thing, we suggest you stay clear of Get Hard.
The risqué comedy sees wealthy investment banker James King (Will Ferrell) living the American Dream: a beautiful fiancée, a mansion (with an even bigger one on the way), and just made partner in his firm. That is until he’s convicted of fraud and sentenced to 10 years in San Quentin, a tough maximum security prison.
Terrified of life inside, he hires the guy who washes his car, Darnell Lewis (Kevin Hart), to teach him how to survive. The catch? Lewis is a law-abiding citizen who is only assumed to have been imprisoned because he is black. Desperate to give his wife and daughter a better life, Lewis accepts and prepares to train the naive King.
Prior to its release, the film had attracted criticism for racist and homophobic jibes, there’s no denying it, the content is there. King is a politically incorrect Ron Burgundy-like character who is concerned about being raped in prison.
He tries to defend his privileged position by saying he worked hard and anyone could be in his place, despite going to a private school in England “with the Murdoch’s and the Bin Laden’s”. He argues wealth is obtainable “whether you’re born rich or poor, white or, erm, miscellaneous…” which only seems to connect being poor with being of different ethnicities.
However, the hate-brigade should hold back and try to see the message that first-time director Etan Hart is attempting to make.
Rather than laughing with the characters during these jokes, the audience is meant to be laughing at them. The outrageous actions are there to poke fun at the attitudes and culture in America, not to mention the rest of the world.
The extremity is to show how ridiculous it is to be homophobic and racist in the modern world, it can be said though, this message isn’t always clear, possibly due to it being a serious message in a comedy film or perhaps because it is done so sporadically throughout.
As a result, it is a bit of a hit and miss: hilarious moments mixed with ones that will leave viewers asking “did they really just say that?”.
The most outstanding feature of the film is the unusual pairing of Ferrell and Hart. As two of the biggest on the comedy scene at the moment, it was only a matter of time before they shared the big screen. The budding bromance throughout the film feels natural; despite the characters being complete opposites. While this is partly down to good writing, the chemistry between the pair is undeniable.
Get Hard has some big laughs on occasion, but its risqué nature will offend, rather than please, some.