Directed By: Etan Cohen
Written By: Ian Roberts, Etan Cohen & Jay Martel
Story By: Adam McKay, Jay Martel & Ian Roberts
Cinematography By: Tim Suhrstedt
Editor: Michael L.Stale
Cast: Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart, Edwina Findley, Alison Brie, Craig T. Nelson, Tip ‘T.I.’ Harris, Paul Ben-Victor, Ron Funches, Matt Walsh, Greg Germann
When obscenely rich hedge-fund manager James is convicted of fraud and sentenced to a stretch in San Quentin, the judge gives him one month to get his affairs in order. Knowing that he won’t survive more than a few minutes in prison on his own, James desperately turns to Darnell, a black businessman who’s never even had a parking ticket – for help. As Darnell puts James through the wringer, both learn that they were wrong about many things, including each other.
Kevin Hart seems to commonly get paired up in as many buddy films as possibly can. I don’t know if this is a plan of his intentionally from a business stand point. As when he interacts with other actors. The full weight of the film isn’t only on his shoulders. Especially when it comes to advertising and promoting. But also leaves him in the company of comedy greats or more successful comedic actors. Who also not only legitimize his talents, but also add to his clout.
Though it might also give some to feel like he has an aura of not being totally trustworthy in a film of his own. Purely responsible for being the major comedic element.
Then again he seems to find his comedic strength in working or playing off others. Against them and with them. Instead of rooting himself as the only. As he is more the Jerry Lewis. Looking for his dean Martin. Though luckily for him it trains him for the time when he does headline solo in his films. Usually the rest of the year he is doing stand-up around the world. So maybe he considers that his alone time and his solo work.
Either way as a comedian who is big in the African American community. When he is paired up with Caucasian comedians it Also helps his crossover appeal with audiences. Even though by now he has been in enough films and been around long enough that he seems popular enough to have a huge crossover audience. Naturally.
The humor of this film comes from shock humor at first. Really trying to push the boundaries, but in a more fun way. Though throughout there are way too many gay jokes and over the top racial humor. As the film seems to think that as long as you provide a distinct character who is not a stereotype and stands apart from them. It is ok then for other character to revel in them. And feed more into them. I am talking about both gay stereotypes and racial ones. As throughout the film they really run the mileage out of anal rape.
The film tries to settle down by Having a gay character who is beyond a stereotype and who strikes up a friendship with Kevin hart’s character for no real reason other the. It following a scene of Ferrell trying to train himself for gay sex and actually having full frontal male nudity.
I can see the need for hart to have a tough hood cousin to seek council with to help him along, but they have to at up every sterile type throughout their scenes. Including women who do nothing but twerk all the time. The only nice touch there is a kind of romance between one of the women and Will Ferrell’s character.
Though many of the female roles are written more to be either sex objects or for sexual jokes and show nudity. There is only one female role that seems to be filled with a positive distinction. Though it is a small one playing Kevin Hart’s wife.
I could get behind the film and it’s humor of it wasn’t so sloppy and lazy. It feels more hazardous than helpful.
Will Ferrell seems out of place. You wonder why he is here. As he seems better than this. He tends to play in more bizarre yet mainstream films. It seems like he is only here because he needs a mainstream hit. Which this films seems designed to be. More designed then thought through. Though in this role he is one of the few known actors who could be believable in this type of role. As an innocent buffoon and the audience would totally buy it. Not really questioning it or his antics. As he more plays it silly but natural. Maybe we are just getting used to his schtick and can tell when he is actually trying and coasting.
I am shocked noted comedy writer Etan Cohen made his directorial debut with this film. Which seems more like a mainstream get rich quick scheme of a film. Set to entertain the masses for a minute ask be forgotten the next, but I guess it was so high concept and easy an idea to parlay. He went with it. Rather then something more complex and challenging. Again maybe using this as a stepping stone or training session to make projects he is more passionate about.
Luckily the leads are funny and can make the material work. They each get a scene or two to shine.
Though funny it leaves as lift bad state in you or mouth.