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GET HARD

★★★

PRISON PUNS APLENTY

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By Jess Fenton
23rd March 2015
A movie about a rich white guy going to the toughest maximum security prison in the country, called ‘Get Hard’ - insert jokes here, for which there are many.

Two of the biggest comedic box office powerhouses going around have teamed up for the feature film directorial debut of ‘Tropic Thunder’ screenwriter Etan Cohen. Kevin Hart, who seems to have a new movie opening every other month, and Will Ferrell are the unlikely pairing and thus the laughs come rolling in.

When nice-guy millionaire James King (Ferrell) is sentenced to 10 years prison for fraud, he seeks help from his carwasher Darnell (Hart) to help him survive on the inside. Being black and a blue-collar worker, King assumes Darnell is an ex-con. Darnell, in a financial jam trying to get his family out of the ghetto, decides to take advantage of King’s situation and plays along, teaching King everything he knows (see: seen in movies) about prison life - even going to far as to turn King’s mansion into a makeshift prison employing the household staff as guards and fellow “inmates”.

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Rich white guy, poor black guy, you can practically see the jokes coming - or can you? This film could have so easily prayed on the cliché race and class gags, only ‘Get Hard’ has taken a higher road. Both characters portrayed in the film are good, innocent people despite slight ignorances towards the other, but never malicious or prejudice, simply the result of never living in the other world. Both intelligent yet naïve men, the laughs flow through misinterpretations, fish-out-of-water living and yes, okay, the occasional prison rape joke, but come on, there had to be at lease one (or 10).

This film could have so easily prayed on the cliché race and class gags, only ‘Get Hard’ has taken a higher road.

Ferrell is oddly subdued in his performance and Hart actually speaks at an understandable pace - slightly unexpected and off-putting if you’re a fan of either actor - but you get over that pretty quickly and just sit back and enjoy as Will Ferrell tries and fails to assimilate to any and every prison clique, finding the right one that will have him.

With yet another hit on their hands, Ferrell and Hart are a good team, if maybe a little too tamed here, but never not funny. And Cohen has proven himself a worthy filmmaker to add to his already impressive skills as a writer. Watch out, there’s surely more to come.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 26/03/2015
RUN TIME: 1h 40m
CAST: Will Ferrell
Kevin Hart
Craig T. Nelson
Alison Brie
DIRECTOR: Etan Cohen
WRITERS: Jay Martel
Ian Roberts
Etan Cohen
PRODUCERS: Adam McKay
Will Ferrell
Chris Henchy
www.gethardmovie.com
GetHardMovie
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