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Get Hard (AF)


Stars: Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Alison Brie, Craig T Nelson, Dan Bakkedahl, Edwina Findley, Greg Germann, Ariana Neal

Director: Etan Cohen

The title is twaddle.

This witless foul-mouthed rubbish is depressingly flaccid.

Even a massive overdose of comedy-creating Viagra would fail to raise anything other than a few very, very few embarrassed sniggers. And even that might be rather more than any that interrupted the press show. I had more fun attending post mortems when I was a medical student.

So what? IÂ’m sure Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart have more than enough fans for Get Hard to make money. Fans of filthy language are eminently well catered for by a near-non-stop barrage of four-letter words that make Ray WinstoneÂ’s recent foul-mouthed outpourings in The Gunman resemble a high church sermon by comparison.

Indeed, scenarists Jay Martel, Ian Roberts and Etan Cohen (the latter also doubling as director with no apparent shame) appear to have missed no opportunities to fill the script with swearwords and adding, just for the fun of it, a story in which sexism, racism, homophobic abuse and scads of just plain crap-ism run riot.

Gross gags proliferate. The real tragedy is that nobody thought to put a gag on Ferrell.

The plot?

Millionaire tycoon Ferrell is framed for embezzlement and fraud, arrested by the FBI and sentenced to a term in San Quentin. Terrified, Ferrell calls on his hard-working car washer Kevin Hart, (who he wrongly believes is an ex-con) to teach him to get hard so that he can survive the hell that is San Quentin.

And so Ferrell finds out how to adapt to prison life (“Help me from being someone’s itch!”) under Hart’s less-than-hilarious tutelage which sees Ferrell trying to have homosexual sex in a public lavatory, learning to talk dirty and hide things in the lower regions of his intestinal tract, making contact with tough black gangstas in Los Angeles and hearing the ‘N’ word when he attempts to gain favour with the scary white supremacist gang the Alliance of Whites...

Cohen, who makes his serves-me-right directorial debut here, sensibly appears to have allowed Ferrell in particular to do just what he wanted. Which is to ham it up and look immensely pleased with himself in the process.

No doubt his fans will love it. But not, I imagine, after watching Ferrell’s supremely self-satisfied (allegedly) comic performance, as much as Ferrell himself. Hart puts his heart and soul and rather more than he needs to in the way of overacting into his portrayal of a sadly clichéd black working-man.

However, if you’re a devout fan and want to savour Ferrell in all his naked glory among other face-freezingly unfunny sequences and relentlessly putting the ‘ass’ into crass, then by all means see this rubbish.

But be warned – it really is hard going.

Alan Frank

USA 2015. UK Distributor: Warner. Colour.
100 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 3, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 2, Swearing 3.

Review date: 25 Mar 2015