Etan Cohen has written for films such as Tropic Thunder and Men in Black 3, and now his first feature-length directorial debut has come. Get Hard stars Will Farrell as James King, a wildly successful businessman whose over-the-top wealth comes hand in hand with a massive ego, a luxurious mansion and a hot, young wife to boot. But when James is accused of tax evasion and sentenced to jail, he employs his car washer Darnell (Kevin Hart) to prepare him for life behind bars.
Family-man Darnell is desperate for money to get his young daughter out of her rough public school, so agrees to help for $30,000. Unbeknownst to James however, Darnell has never been to jail before. So, of course chaos, ridiculousness and hilarity ensues.
In the case of Get Hard, the title pretty much says it all, right down to the double entendres and not-so-subtle penis jokes. While there is some witty gags that made me smile, most of the film is filled with the pretty rudimentary humour that you’d expect from this kind of base-level comedy. We can usually trust Will Farrell to bring the goods, but in the case of James King, I’m not entirely convinced Farrell suited the character and was able to pull off the extravagant, hyperbolic rich-guy stereotype that James is. For the first time, Farrell may have been miscast.
The same cannot be said for Kevin Hart, who is quickly proving a master of the genre (of which I hope he can soon move out of so he can take on some more serious roles). Hart gives a truly comedic performance and proves that he is an actor with real merit. The scene in which he embodies three characters at once is particularly evident of his talent and I think he will go far in the industry.
With a screenplay from the same writers who contribute to Key and Peele, Anchorman and Saturday Night Live, you pretty much know what you’re getting into with Get Hard. If you’re not expecting much seriousness or poignancy, and you’re ready to let the comedy wash over you without having to think, then this is the comedy for you. However, if you don’t want to see a bunch of characters parading around like stereotypes on steroids, then you might want to give Get Hard a miss. There is almost no substance to any of these characters, and while we might see a little growth as the film goes on, it is in all the ways you expect to see it. There’s no new or fresh angle being taken here – this film is the same as all the other comedies being pumped out of Hollywood right now and I for one am not a big fan.
However, if laughs are all you’re looking for, then you’ve come to the right place. With two masters of comedy in the driving seats, you’re bound to get a few smiles. Just don’t expect too much more than that.
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