review – get hard


As the double-entendre title makes clear: this intends to be a raunchy comedy – and it is. Fortunately, Will Ferrell is just an overgrown kid at heart; he uses that to guide his performance and to temper this movie. It doesn’t make the film good; it does keep it from being as offensive as it could be. The Latinos and Blacks and Gays are stereotypes; jokes are tired; scenes are stretched. Laughs are widely-spaced and often uncomfortable. The whole thing has an overlay of phoniness. And, if you have any question about how far Ferrell will go in search of a laugh, this movie has the answer: there are no boundaries. There’s a scene in here – in the Men’s Room of a Gay bar — that’s as crude as any he’s done. What’s not shown is strongly suggested – and talked about.

The language is homophobic and relentlessly racist and while his character refuses to say the “N-word,” he delivers the “F-word” incessantly and in infinite variations. But mostly in a way where he convinces us that he’s just a young child learning to speak a new language; he has no idea what he’s saying. In the first few minutes of the movie, he also exercises nude in front of his gardeners; has fully-distracted and fully-clothed sex with Alissa (Alison Brie), his fiancé; and makes 28-million dollars for Martin (Craig T. Nelson) head of the securities firm he works for. He’s oblivious to it all until he’s arrested for embezzling and sentenced to ten years in prison—and needs to hire a “coach” (Kevin Hart) to help him survive. And so begins a story of mistaken identities where the premise is more promising than the delivery. Too many sequences are lame and lazy. And you’ll recognize a lot in here from movies you’ve seen before. Everyone involved is “trying hard” to make something of very little. But, at the end, we’re left with a question that unfortunately can be asked of too many films today: Why should language and behavior that are hurtful in life be considered humorous in the movies?