As Will Ferrell spits out yet another dick-based joke, the only thing getting hard is the ability to stomach the tedious toilet humour which plagues Etan Cohen’s woefully unfunny flick, Get Hard. Ride Along’s Kevin Hart stars alongside the Anchorman funny guy in this prison-themed clanger which will undoubtedly challenge for the prize of 2015’s most depressingly bad comedy film.
James King (Ferrell) – a high-flying Wall Street millionaire – is heading to jail. Incredibly ignorant yet unquestionably innocent, King looks to car wash owner Darnell (Kevin Hart) – who he mistakenly believes served time in jail (the gag being that he’s black, therefore he must have been in prison. Ha ha, funny right?) – for help to train him up to survive in the slammer. King’s training unsurprisingly hits a few snags as he’s put through the ringer with numerous prison-like tests – including a practice prison riot and Yard Time 1.0.1 – while still hoping, through the help of his boss/future father-in-law, Martin (Craig T. Nelson), that he’ll be able to clear his name in time to avoid a trip to San Quentin.
As subtle as a train wreck and soaked to the bone in stupidity, Cohen’s feature length debut as a director is far too heavy-handed – and certainly not funny enough – to be branded as satire, while simply too mind-numbingly bad to be seen as truly offensive. Ferrell’s man-child act is nothing new, yet when you’re more annoying than Kevin Hart – which is an achievement in itself – you know you’ve got problems.
Void of any intelligence or charm, Get Hard’s total reliance on boorish racial and sexual stereotypes – something that becomes painfully obvious within the first 30 seconds – is as frustrating to watch as it is unsurprising. A prolonged oral sex gag at a ‘gay hotspot’ was a particularly low point in a film which has so many. The non-existent storyline – overshadowed by the unconventional Ferrell/Hart ‘bromance’ – is no less painful, as the pair are joined by supporting characters such as the never-ever-ever seen before pairing of the attractive, yet shallow fiancée and the backstabbing millionaire boss, making us all collectively sigh with disbelief at how obvious – and oh so crap – it all is.
It’s bitterly disappointing to see someone with such comedic pedigree as Ferrell lower himself to a Vince Vaughn level of laziness. Following on from the patchy The Campaign and the disappointing Anchorman sequel, along with a terrible cameo in The Internship, Get Hard is further evidence that the former sure-fire comedy hit needs to rediscover his funny bone, and quick. Yet what is also a crying shame is that Cohen – a guy who has a proven track record of handling satire with the fabulous Tropic Thunder – could produce such a pile of incomprehensible cack.