Review by Gordon Justesen
Ferrell, Kevin Hart, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Alison Brie, Craig T. Nelson
Director: Etan Cohen
Audio: DTS HD 5.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Studio: Warner Bros.
Features: See Review
Length: 100 Minutes
Release Date: June 30, 2015
“I’M GONNA PUNCH YOU IN THE F**K!”
For a movie that basically repeats the same joke in nearly every scene, Get Hard is pretty damn hysterical. Then again, when two comedic talents like Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart are paired up in the same movie, you’re pretty much laughing before you hear any of their dialogue. But nevertheless, I found myself amazed that I was consistently laughing throughout the movie despite it being close to a one-joke movie.
The setup goes as follows; ultra rich financial bigwig James King (Ferrell) is living the dream. He has millions in cash, a smokin’ fiancee (Alison Brie), an estate with the largest interior imaginable, and he’s just been made partner at the firm by his soon to be father in law (Craig T. Nelson). All of that comes crashing down, though, when he’s arrested and convicted of multiple accounts of fraud, resulting in a ten year prison sentence.
Frightened by the very thought of becoming somebody’s “bitch” behind bars, James desperately turns to Darnell (Hart), an employee of his who takes care of the company cars in the parking garage, for advice on how to avoid this, or “get hard” in prison. Why? Well, because Darnell is black and appears to have extensive knowledge about the dirty deeds that take place in San Quentin, where James is heading in a month.
Offended by the stereotyping but seeing a bright shining opportunity in the process, Darnell agrees to do this in exchange for a fee of $30,000, which he needs to move his family into a better neighborhood and put his daughter in a better school. James accepts the offer on the spot. And soon, Darnell is at James’ front door step acting as a hardcore thug with the intention of scaring the wimpy businessman into a fearless figure of pure hardness (don’t read much into that, please).
The running joke in Get Hard is basically tied into prison rape, which is undoubtedly the one thing every man going into prison fears the most. Darnell provides James with a crash course, and when it comes to confronting the dirty stuff, it ain’t pretty. Part of this includes taking James to restaurant in a gay district and informing him up front that he’s gonna have to learn to perform an activity that rhymes with the words buck and stick.
Another key teaching involves defending himself in the case of a prison riot. One hilarious highlight involves a mock riot inside James’ house, which has been turned into a mock prison itself. And James soon comes up with six hours of tough guy prison lingo he himself records on audio tape, which had me howling to the point of nearly crying.
You won’t exactly see anything in Get Hard that Ferrell or Hart haven’t done before, but they’re so damn good at what they do that it doesn’t weaken the movie at all. I’m especially a sucker for Ferrell’s comic persona, and he sure doesn’t disappoint here as he delivers another huge dose of memorable one liners. And this is probably the funniest showcase yet for Hart ever since his movie career kicked into high gear.
The movie ends up being a neat balance between social satire and pure tasteless comedy. While the aspect of the former could have been expanded upon more, the sheer quantity of laughs (no matter how poor the taste might be) is super high here that it’s more than enough to overlook any missed opportunities that exist. Besides, you watch comedies to laugh hysterically, which this movie caused me to do quite frequently.
This is yet another top quality Blu-ray presentation from Warner. The picture is consistently alive with bright imaging and outstanding display of color, especially in a sequence where Ferrell first appears in street thug attire. And there is never a dull spot to be seen, as immense detail is present for every single frame!
The DTS HD mix serves this insane comedy quite terrifically. There are many lively soundtrack choices, mainly that of hip hop, which result in some riveting playback. The aforementioned mock riot sequence is actually a real showstopper of a moment in terms of overall surround quality.
This Blu-ray release from Warner includes both a Theatrical and Unrated cut of the movie, the second of which is longer by seven minutes. As far as features go, we get nearly a half hour’s worth of Deleted Scenes, a Gag Reel as well as Line-o-Rama montage, and a plentiful amount of brief but hilarious featurettes, among them “Just Put Your Lips Together and Blow”, “The Kevin Hart Workout”, “Face Off with Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart”, “Ferrell Fighting”, “A Date with John Mayer”, “Twerking 101”, “Will Ferrell, Gangsta”, “Inmates: Out of Control” and “Bikers, Babes and Big Bangs”.
It revels in tastelessness and is probably really an indefensible movie, but Get Hard is also one of the funniest movies to come out this year. The laughs are fast, very frequent and ultra hilarious. Fans of either Will Ferrell or Kevin Hart are definitely in for a comedy treat!