This film, for better or for worse, is exactly what you would expect from what you may have seen in the trailer. It relies purely on Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell's chemistry, is filled with crude and offensive humor, involving homophobic situations, racism and racial profiling along with a barrage of rape jokes. The story revolves around James King (Ferrell) being sentenced to prison, which makes him enlist the help of Darnell (Hart) to get him ready. Of course there would be rape jokes in this, based simply off that synopsis.
Ferrell is a stereotypical, extremely rich and extremely white business man who also happens to be quite ignorant about other races and different people while Hart is a man who needs money to buy a house and move his family out of the hood. He also owns his own business, but it is nowhere near where he might want it to be. These two misfits are brought together and hi-jinks ensue.
Now, I would be lying if I said that I did not laugh, and in that respect, this movie did exactly what it set out to do. Even with the barrage of rape jokes throughout the film and a cringe worthy scene in a bathroom, there were moments where I was laughing out loud and others where I simply chuckled. But it did make me laugh throughout, which is worth a recommendation alone.
This comedy was only going to work if the chemistry between Hart and Ferrell worked, and I'm glad to say that they played off each other quite well. A lot of the dialogue was improved, which made it sound natural since in a comedy like this jokes don't need to be scripted. They need to feel natural, which they did in this film.
There is a scene in the film where James King is having dinner with Darnell's family and Darnell has to make up a story on how and why he went to prison, and what he comes up with is comedy genius and it resulted in a gut busting scene. This scene was the best comedic scene in the film and one of my favorite comedic moments of 2015, it was that funny.
This film's greatest weakness however is that there were stretches of time where the jokes did not land, and when jokes don't land in a comedy, that usually leave the viewer quite bored, and this was no exception. Certain stretches of the film had me checking my watch and wondering when the next laugh would come. These sequences were few and far between, but they were there, which truly hindered the experience.
There is a scene in the film where Darnell takes James King to a restaurant where homosexuals frequent, and he basically tells James that he will have to learn to suck dick since the training is not going well. Parts of this scene did genuinely make me laugh, until then we got to the bathroom, and this sequence was like a horror movie, where I was trying to look away from the screen but still peeking through one eye to see what happens. It was not funny, and I was letting out an uncomfortable laugh waiting for the scene to end. You may have seen it in the trailer, but I will not ruin exactly what happens. Let's just say that it will piss off and offend a lot of people.
When talking about the types of jokes this movie makes and what it says, it is sure to piss off and offend quite a number of people. It is homophobic, makes tons of jokes regarding race, and is filled with rape jokes. There is no getting over that, and if you are sensitive to these topics, then this movie will upset you. Especially that sequence in the bathroom, regardless of your sexual orientation, that scene may send off some red flags to everybody. I am not the type of person who gets offended easily, thus these aspects of the film did not bother me, and I was more offended by how unfunny and cringe worthy that bathroom scene was rather than the content of the scene itself.
Bouncing back from the negatives, one of the aspects of this movie that I genuinely respected was that the growth of the characters did not feel forced, and we understood where they started and where they ended up, and I genuinely appreciated this aspect of the movie.
In a lot of Kevin Hart movies, serious scenes and scenes of growth often feel forced and unneeded, which makes it feel unbelievable. For instance, in a movie like The Wedding Ringer, the movie did this thing where it switched from a comedy to a more serious tone with no warm up or lead in, which took away from the movie as a whole. In Get Hard however, there weren't any serious switches between tones like that, and the growth and development of the characters felt more natural. There were not any scenes dedicated to displaying this, and it was done in a much more subtle way, rather it be through the actions of the characters in one scene or a simple line in the next.
One of the best elements of this movie is T.I's character, who isn't in the film that much, but when he does pop up, his scenes are hilarious and demonstrates his own comedic timing. He plays Darnell's cousin, Russell, who is out on parole and is essentially a gangbanger, and Darnell wants Russell to help James when he's on the inside. Trust me, the scenes where they were interacting with Russell were some of the best moments of the movie.
This movie is exactly what you would expect, and your enjoyment of it hinges on whether you are a fan of Kevin Hart or not. I am a fan of his, thus I found enjoyment in this movie. Yes, there were cringe worthy elements in the film and truly crude an offensive humor, but I still laughed throughout, and since a comedy's first priority should be to make you laugh, Get Hard did its job, which earns a recommendation.