Wealthy businessman James King (Will Ferrell) lives in his mansion with his gold-digging
male audience sex lure totally not a sex object fiancée, Alissa Barrow (Alison Brie). He works for her father Martin (Craig T. Nelson) at his hedge fund until James is arrested by the FBI for embezzlement and fraud. Facing ten years in maximum security prison, James turns to his car washer, Darnell Lewis (Kevin Hart), for help to survive in prison without getting anally raped. Darnell plays off James’ false belief that he went to jail, and creates a deranged, thirty-day program to “train” James for survival in prison, in exchange for thirty-thousand dollars to move his family to a better neighborhood.
This, dear readers, is where the fun starts in Get Hard. Before the ball starts rolling on the plot, the film subsists on being a biting satire of the economic elite of America, and to the movie’s credit, it does yield some laughs, such as Martin’s story about pulling himself by his bootstraps with just “me, my computer and seven million dollars from my father.” However, once Get Hard moves away from its excuse plot towards the action and lets its two stars Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart do their work, the movie really picks up off the ground and begins to soar.
Will Ferrell has been shown to work best in his comedic roles when the character in question takes refuge in audacity. From funeral crashing to seduce widows in Wedding Crashers to a blind man raising sharks in Anchorman 2, it has been demonstrably proven that Will Ferrell is at his most hilarious when the audience has no fucking idea what’s going on. So, in Get Hard, where he is seen kiestering shivs, joining black gangs and simulating a prison riot with a rave, the audience can be assured that they are in for a very good time that can only be described as anything other than lucid.Kevin Hart brings his own to the table as well, as a generally acceptable straight man who actually does have his own character and jokes. The material isn’t great, and throughout the film the subject matter of the jokes could be considered bad taste, but in Get Hard’s defense, the movie is about trying to avoid prison rape, after all. At the very least, Get Hard takes no prisoners in its quest to offend virtually everybody, whether it’s blacks, whites, Latinos or gays. So it’s best to only see this movie if you have no shame whatsoever as a human being.
On the downside is Alison Brie, who gets the third-highest billing despite the fact that her screen time amounts to less than twenty minutes, and her character exists solely as some sort of sexpot designed to pull in male viewers to make some extra change. Ms. Brie truly does have comedic talent and numerous credits to her name, and I do understand the need to take a paycheck job every now and then, but the truth is, she represents a vastly underused asset in this movie and while Edwina Findley is able to partially make up for it in her role as Darnell’s wife, the situation is a damn shame.
In closing, Get Hard is a perfectly alright comedy that won’t make you think too hard, or particularly laugh too hard either seeing its tendency to joke about its own name. If you’re going to see Get Hard, make sure it’s on a weekday when all the kids get out of school. That way, the audience is sure to be stacked with people laughing, sort-of, right along with you.