Movie Review with Jeff McCullough: Get Hard

By Jeff McCullough on April 01, 2015 from Movie Review via

Sixty percent of the jokes in Get Hard are dirty puns about the title. Another 30% are racist/homophobic slurs about a white man going to jail. The final 10 are about Kevin Hart’s height. If this sounds like comedy gold to you, by all means go buy a ticket to Get Hard and have yourself a great time.  Or save some money by staying at home and making noises with your armpit. If you can find humor in this film, you’ll likely laugh at anything.
A “comedy” about middle aged billionaire James King, a man falsely accused of a Madoff like Ponzi scheme and his inept car washer Darnell’s attempt to toughen him up, Get Hard proves to be one of the duller shanks in the prison yard. There is some humor in the idea of Will Ferrell, the whitest comedian not currently hollering “Get er Done!”, being sent to a maximum security prison. But did it have to be told be told with such an abundance of generally vile behavior?
Maybe I’ve got my facts wrong, but I always thought in order for a film to be called a comedy, it had to make jokes. The makers of Get Hard don’t understand this, or just don’t care. This is perhaps best exemplified in their fascination with Kevin Harts 5’4 stature. Yeah, he’s a tiny little man. I’m sure there are plenty of great jokes you could make about this fact. But just pointing at him, saying “Haha, short!” is not a joke. It’s a restatement of fact, and not a particularly funny one at that.
At times Get Hard does seem to attempt to be witty, but its efforts are a little soft in the middle. The biggest problems are the punch lines.  The “jokes” are told shotgun style, firing rapidly and at abandon just hoping to hit something.  But before anything can click, the script moves on faster than inmates at a prison break.  Probably an attempt to keep people from thinking too hard about the jokes (aka realizing they aren’t funny), the tone reeks of a half-baked job.
There are numerous examples of this kind of lazy writing in Get Hard, and much of it is bizarrely mean spirited. Homosexuals, prisoners, white color businessmen, blue color workers, African Americans, White Americans, Hispanic Americans, and the list goes on, are all mocked, berated, and bullied with equal abandon. TV shows like South Park can get away with harsh satire, because its humor is intelligent and biting. Unintelligent comedydoesn’t have this leg up. If you’re going to be an intolerant jerk, at least have the dignity to be funny.
An unusually subpar performance by Ferrell, and a not so unusually subpar performance from Hart, round out the worst film of their respective careers. Bad comedy is one thing. Offensively bad comedy is a whole other ball park. Get Hard strikes out in both.
1 star out of 5

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