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Movie Review: 'Get Hard' Goes Hard

by Todd A. Smith


(Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)


Status Quo, But Still a Good Status



One knows ahead of time what they get when they watch a film starring Will Ferrell or Kevin Hart.


Nothing Earth shattering happens cinematically but the two stars constantly give fans rib-shattering laughs.


That streak continues for two of the reigning kings of comedy in “Get Hard.”


James King (Ferrell) has it all.


He has a lucrative career as a millionaire stockbroker.  His success at the company has even earned him a promotion to partner.


James is engaged to the beautiful and vivacious Alissa (Alison Brie).


They live in a marvelous Bel-Air, Calif. mansion with plans to move into an even bigger estate in the near future.


Nothing in the world can stop James’ happiness or his career momentum, except of course a 10-year sentence in San Quentin State Prison for securities fraud and embezzlement.


Meanwhile in the real world that most people live in, Darnell (Hart) just wants to provide a safe environment for his family and a quality education for his daughter Makayla (Ariana Neal).


Makayla’s elementary school is so bad that they need a metal detector to check the “babies” for weapons.


Darnell has his eyes set on the perfect house and perfect neighborhood and school for his daughter and wife Rita (Edwina Findley Dickerson).  There is only one problem.  Darnell needs a measly $30,000 for the down payment.


What makes matters worse is that his car wash company, which specializes in washing cars for big time Los Angeles business executives, is not cutting it when it comes to providing the affluent lifestyle he wants to give his family.


However, when James approaches Darnell seeking his guidance on survival in the penitentiary, Darnell sees the perfect opportunity to raise the $30,000 that he is seeking.


Unfortunately, Darnell has never done time behind the fences.


As a matter of fact, he has never even had parking or speeding tickets.


James assumes that he has experience surviving prison because after all, one in three African-American men will be incarcerated in their lifetime according to James.


What follows in “Get Hard” is the typical hilarious and ridiculously off the chain jokes one would expect from the two stars.


The funniest scene in “Get Hard” is when Darnell tells James how he ended up doing hard time.


He told his story about how he and his friends Ricky and Doughboy got into some beef with some local thugs when they were growing up.


His friends decided to split up.  That ended up being a fatal decision as Ricky was gunned down. 


Darnell can still remember his cries, “Riiicccckky.”


That night they decided to seek revenge for the murder of his friend.  He took the blame like a true “G” should so Doughboy would not have to do time also.


Rita is so impressed with his storytelling that she encourages Darnell to tell James about how a rich White lady adopted him and turned him into a successful offensive tackle.


However, the unlikely star of “Get Hard” is Tip “T.I.” Harris who plays Darnell’s cousin Russell.


He adds an authenticity and the necessary street credibility that Hart does not have.


T.I. is actually an adequate actor when he stays in his lane and does not take roles above his current pay grade.


Nevertheless, “Get Hard” is status quo with nothing very unique to its comedy.


Also, moviegoers need to get accustomed to a certain four-letter word that is used seemingly like a billion times.


Nevertheless, it is hilarious to see Hart turn Ferrell into the stereotypical boy in the hood.  He will need all of the street knowledge he can attain if he is to survive his current predicament in “Get Hard.”






This article was published on Friday 27 March, 2015.
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