When comedy is done well, it can leave a smile on a person's face and a belly full of laughter. When comedy is done poorly, it can leave a person with indigestion and a headache. Teaming up Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell in the film “Get Hard” is comedy done the right way.
The film follows a simple recipe in order to achieve success — have a simple and direct story, actors who can back it up and good editing. In some films, you see actors trying to make a line work when it doesn’t. They force the joke onto the audience by over emphasizing it or by overacting a scene, which creates an awkward display on screen.
Hart and Ferrell do what comedians do best, they let the scene unfold naturally and let the audience decide what is funny or not. Nine times out of 10, that method works pretty well. A great example of that is “Tommy Boy.” People are still quoting lines from it today. Remember, “Fat guy in a little coat?”
“Get Hard” introduces millionaire James King (Ferrell) to an impending fate of going to San Quentin State Prison for 10 years after he is convicted of securities fraud. King has 30 days to settle his affairs before going behind bars. He decides that he needs to prepare for his new life in the big house by toughening up and turns to Darnell Lewis (Hart) who washes his car in his office’s parking lot. Why? Simply because Lewis is black, King believes he must know what prison life is like. Lewis has never been to prison, but when King offers to pay him $30,000, he goes along with the plan.
Throughout the film, there are many memorable scenes that stay with you after the credits have rolled. One is when Lewis tells King he is going to simulate a prison riot. All the lights are switched off, strobe lights start flashing and loud music is blasted. King’s domestic staff start throwing objects at him and then out of nowhere a monkey appears. When the lights come back on, King finds he has been stabbed with a shiv.
Another memorable moment is when Lewis tries to teach King what life in a prison yard is like. The “prison yard” occupies the place of King’s tennis court. Lewis plays the parts of the different gang members King might encounter. King stupidly asks if there is a French gang he could join because he knows how to speak a little French.
Other scenes include King trying to imitate rapper Lil’ Wayne by dressing in an outfit the rapper wore to an awards show and walking through a predominately black neighborhood.
“Get Hard” is truly laugh out loud funny and will have you reciting lines all the way home and over the office water cooler the next day. Both in his standup and films, Hart always seems to find a way to connect with his audience and make them laugh. He lives up to expectations as he pairs off with Ferrell in “Get Hard.”
When under direction and not left on his own, Ferrell can provide audiences with a great performance. He does so in “Get Hard,” providing many funny moments for the audience to enjoy.
Directing the film is Ethan Cohen, who is known for writing the screenplay “Idiocracy” and several episodes of the television show “King of the Hill.” Cohen brings raw, everyday, humor to this film and it works.
“Get Hard” is a film that does not need to be missed. See it before it is too late. This film is rated R for pervasive crude and sexual content and language, some graphic nudity and drug material. The run time for this film is 100 minutes.