Gives the stereo­type a beat­ing

Di­rected by Etan Co­hen. Star­ring Will Fer­rell, Kevin Hart, Alison Brie, Ed­wina Find­ley, Craig T. Nel­son. Cert 16, gen re­lease, 100 min

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FILM REVIEWS -


It’s a shame that Get Hard, a film that sets out to satirise stereo­types, has come un­der scru­tiny for its use of, well, stereo­types.

True, the new com­edy from Etan Co­hen (who pre­vi­ously co-au­thored Tropic Thun­der and Idioc­racy) fea­tures a wildly camp ho­mo­sex­ual char­ac­ter. But the same film is care­ful to in­clude the same gen­tle­man in a later scene, hav­ing now be­friended Kevin Hart.

And true, when WASPy mas­ter of the uni­verse James King (Fer­rell) is charged with in­sider trad­ing and sen­tenced to 10 years in San Quentin, he en­lists Darnell (Kevin Hart), the only black man he knows, to teach him how to sur­vive.

Cru­cially, how­ever, James King is an id­iot and Darnell, who is, by his cousin’s reckoning, a ‘khaki-pants-wear­ing Cliff Huxtable’, has never been to jail. If one still has doubts over

Get Hard’s in­ten­tions, it’s worth not­ing that King is only re­deemed when var­i­ous re­pressed mi­nori­ties – in­clud­ing the Latino gar­dener – get to beat him up, some­times fig­u­ra­tively, mostly lit­er­ally.

The film takes a lit­tle while to warm up: Fer­rell’s straight-laced stooge proves a lit­tle too con­strain­ing dur­ing an over­ture which in­tro­duces his priv­i­leged life. It is left to Kevin Hart to sup­ply suit­able bursts of manic en­ergy un­til Fer­rell’s char­ac­ter moves into

Heart of Dark­ness ter­ri­tory. A pleas­ing de­tour into the world (and plot) of Boyz n the Hood al­lows for var­i­ous gangsta-re­lated shenani­gans led by rap­per T.I. Equally solid sup­port­ing play­ers in­clude Veep’s Dan Bakkedahl as Fer­rell’s of­fice ri­val and Com­mu­nity’s Alison Brie as an avari­cious fi­ancee.


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