Get Hard is not original, interesting and most importantly, funny. Though what it lacks in laughs and hilarity it makes up for in offensive jokes and rage-inducing intolerance. Ferrell plays James King, a man who has recently achieved huge financial success in the Stock Market. He is on top of the world, with a beautiful fiancé and a new promotion, only for everything to fall apart when he’s arrested by the FBI, and eventually sentenced to 10 years in prison on embezzlement and fraud charges. King is given 30 days to prepare for prison and say goodbye to the free world. In the meantime, he hires the man who washes his car, Darnell (played by Hart) to be his prison coach. Little does King know that Darnell isn’t “street” at all and is actually a motivated entrepreneur who hasn’t spent one day in jail.
The simplistic concept seems great initially, but eventually flickers out like many of the jokes the film attempts to pull off, while the supporting cast is full of caricatures do nothing to elevate this narrative, nor inject any spark into proceedings. For all of the racist jokes and stereotypes that Ferrell and Hart play back and forth, the offensive nature to this comedy extends to homophobia. Hart take’s Ferrell’s character to a gay bar, and the latter decides to give a middle-aged man a blow-job in a toilet stall, for “comedy” to then ensue. It’s not particularly funny nor is it entertaining. To be honest, it’s remarkable that this film was ever green-lit. It’s 2015.
Of course this is just a comedy, so to take such offence could be deemed reactionary and overly-sensitive. But an audience should be treated better than this. Films of this nature should be consigned to history. Constant running gay-jokes mixed with racist quips (not to mention the countless rape jokes) just seem outdated and needless in contemporary cinema. Nonetheless, Ferrell and Hart do have moments where they remind you they are two of the funniest men on the planet, but any such sequence is shortly followed by another borderline racist/homophobic plot point or joke.
During a public screening at South By Southwest festival the audience may have greeted the film with much laughter and applause, but one member of the crowd during the post-screening Q&A told the director he found the movie to be “racist as fuck.” Such a sentiment and reaction of such harshness and vulgarity is not only felt by that man, as it’s hard to recall a movie with such a huge platform appearing to be so out of touch with society. Get Hard should learn how to Get Real.