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Get Hard

Coming Soon

James King is very successful in the world of investment banking and he has that particular world by the balls. He has a massive house and a beautiful fiancée. To top everything off, James learns that he is being named partner at his firm — life couldn’t be better.

Unfortunately for James he’s about to lose everything in an instant. He is charged with embezzlement and is ordered to serve hard time in San Quentin State Prison. The judge gives him 30 days to get his affairs in order before being locked up with some of the worst scum in the country. How can a white collar, silver spoon fed softie survive in one of the harshest prisons in the US? Two words…Get Hard. He turns to the only person he could think of that might be able to help him, Darnell Lewis.

Get Hard stars two of Hollywood’s funniest personalities, Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart. Ferrell portrays James King, the unlucky recipient of a trip to an undesirable bed and breakfast behind bars. Hart’s character, Darnell Lewis, is an aspiring entrepreneur who runs a very modest car washing and detailing business in the parking area of James King’s offices. Darnell is also a loving husband and father who wants the best for his family and is doing his best to get them into a better neighborhood. An opportunity of a lifetime arises when James seeks his help. Other costars of note are Alison Brie, Craig T. Nelson, Tip “T.I.” Harris and Paul Ben-Victor.

The plot of Get Hard is extremely transparent from the beginning, so it’s very evident that the only pleasure achievable comes solely from the laughs. Casting Ferrell and Hart together increases those chances. And that quite honestly is the main reason that this movie will come across as less enjoyable than anticipated. The bar is set high, and deservedly so, with these two heavyweights playing across each other for the very first time. There are many funny moments, but not many funny scenes. The two stars are victims of their own success.

The supporting cast adds very little to enjoy or even loathe. Alison Brie as Ferrell’s fiancée is nice to look at but she really isn’t a focal point. Craig T. Nelson plays Ferrell’s backstabbing boss and also future father-in-law, but again, he’s just going through the motions. The same goes for Nelson’s “muscle” played by Paul Ben-Victor. They could have all been more involved but Get Hard is basically all about the interaction between Ferrell and Hart. The occasional change of pace would have been welcome.

Most of what I’ve written is negative, however, I don’t want to come across as trashing the movie. Get Hard simply does not live up to the expectations that most will have for it. There will be lots of laughter, but that enduring effect of having just seen good comedy is absent. It may be a case of trying too hard rather than letting the funny moments come naturally. Based on their previous individual works we all know that they’re capable of so much more. Buyer beware.

Get Hard is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Carl Wheeler


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