James King (Will Ferrell) is an incredibly successful hedge fund manager, making millions everyday. Darnell Lewis (Kevin Hart) is a young entrepreneur with a small car wash business that he is struggling to get off the ground. The two work in the same building but live very different lives, rarely occupying the same space. That is until King is convicted of embezzlement and fraud, which leads him to recruiting Lewis to teach him how to man up and…get hard before he ends up in the notorious San Quentin prison.
Will Ferrell & Kevin Hart team up for the first time for ‘Get Hard’ with writer Etan Cohen in the directors chair, also for the first time. A director could do a lot worse than having two of the biggest comedy names in Hollywood as his leads. However a combination like this can sometimes seem like a recipe for disaster. Thankfully that is not the case for ‘Get Hard’ as it is as every bit as crass and rude as you would expect, and more importantly it is very funny.
Ferrell and Hart combine as the leads in the film, and demonstrate a chemistry that will surely find itself on screen again in a different film in the future. Despite both being front and centre, Will Ferrell is definitely the primary lead, with Kevin Hart playing a prominent wingman. Though Ferrell’s character is not a big leap from some of his previous roles, it is one he clearly specialises in and continues to do it well. Hart on the other hand gets to play a character that is a bit calmer than his stand up routine. Though he does have some amped up moments it’s not a consistent theme which makes the comedy work.
Etan Cohen has done well in his directorial début to both contain and unleash to popular funny personalities.There are a few instances of scenes that feel a touch out of place, probably because there are some out takes on the cutting room floor that lead into it. Trimming things like this down would potentially help streamline the film and the resulting comedy. Cohen though must be commended on his efforts here. The comedy opts for quick combinations rather than building up to something, which plays right into the strengths of its stars. It also makes the film more quotable which in this day an age is priceless.
What also works for ‘Get Hard’ is its running time. It has been said on many an occasion that comedy is all about timing.Time a comedy well and you provide an explosion of laughter, draw it out too long and you could have a dud. 100 Minutes for a film such as ‘Get Hard’ is perfect, not just for the comedy but because the bones of the story is something that we have seen more than once.
My fellow writer Dave McKee, wrote a piece on the (de) Evolution of the Buddy Movie where he, rightfully feels, they just don’t make buddy movies like they used to. Well ‘Get Hard’ harkens back a little to the golden era of buddy movies, its by no means a step forward but it’s happy to wallow among some funny company. Personally ‘Get Hard’ is Kevin Harts funniest film to date, admittedly I have not thought much of most of his previous films. For Ferrell it is another funny performance under his belt, of which he has many. It is the most enjoyable comedy I have watched since 2014’s Bad Neighbours and fans of either of the leads here should enjoy the film.