If you’re a big Will Ferrell/Kevin Hart fan then you’re probably going to want to see this regardless of the negative reviews. However, it’s hard to deny that the comedic duo were more than a little disappointing. Ferrell seems to struggle to evolve from the idiotic character he always appears to play, while Hart simply lacks the ability to make me laugh.
Maybe I should have realised from the title that the film was going to be littered with immature humour, but still, I fancied a giggle so I gave it a go. Ferrell plays a successful investor who is wrongly convicted for fraud and is sentenced to ten years in a maximum security prison (yeah right?). Darnell, played by Hart, is the owner of a struggling car wash business who is hired by King (Ferrell) to help him ‘get hard’ because obviously every black man in America has been to prison and can offer inside advice. Hilarious.
Darnell adopts the role given to him by King and despite being the perfect family man, he puts on the pretence of a hard knock thug to secure the wad of money promised in exchange for his ‘expertise’. As you can imagine, playing up to a racist stereotype is not really that funny but Cohen has directed this film under the premise that as long as you’re blatant with your racism, then it’s okay. To put it blunt, it’s not.
But don’t worry, if racist humour isn’t your thing, there’s plenty of homophobic and prison rape jokes to feed your comedic appetite. Is it still not appealing to you? Well, good, but if you really do feel the urge to go and watch this outdated comedy, you may be able to get a few laughs out of its pure ridiculousness.
It gets better: Cothen and his two screenwriters (all white, may I add) have also sidelined the only women in the film so they go almost unnoticed.
Although it originally seemed quite promising with its strong cast, this film was a major letdown for me and seemed to make light of everything I hate about society. My disappointment only grew stronger as the plot (maybe ‘lack of plot’ is more relevant here) progressed and the desperation for laughs grew more evident.
Watch this if you must, but be warned, this is far from Ferrell and Hart’s best performance.