A film that tries way too hard to be funny
This is the directorial debut for Etan Cohen. It stars two funny comedians Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell and seemed to have all the elements of success. It is an original story, has a good cast and yet it was downright terrible. What went wrong with this movie?
James King is a successful hedge fund manager who has it all. He has a big house, a lot of money and a beautiful fiancee who he is going to marry soon. He is about to become a partner, and it looks like his life is going to be complete. Darnell Lewis on the other hand is a man who owns his own car washing company and has worked for many years cleaning all of the cars for the company that James works for. He is trying to make ends meet and make sure his family is well taken care of, but this is proving to be a difficult task.
One day James is taken away in handcuffs and told he is going to prison at San Quentin for fraud and embezzlement and is told by the judge that he has 30 days to get his affairs in order. He is shocked and frightened and thinks his life is over. One day Darnell scares him in the parking garage, and he asks him for help to get him ready to survive in jail. Darnell is offended he thinks he is an ex convict, but when James offers to pay him a good sum, he agrees to help him. The film goes on from here with ridiculous stereotypes, wild and crazy scenes that rarely work and moments that will have you wondering why did they think that would be funny.
I wanted to like Will Ferrell’s character James in this film, but it is impossible. He is a moron in so many ways. He has few likable qualities and his ego is out of control most of the time. He thinks he is some type of guy who can do no wrong, and that makes it hard to feel sorry for him. It is one of his worst characters he has ever done, and just is not a person he can really bring to life in any type of believable way.
There were actually parts of this film that made me want to walk out of the theater and many scenes that were too offensive to be funny. It was hard to watch at times, and I almost never laughed. The further along the film went, the worse the jokes got. The scene with the Allegiance of Whites was one of the worst I have seen, and I was so glad when it was over. There were no good jokes in that scene, just moments that tried to shock the audience that fell short instead.
The film gets a bit better toward the end, and it has an ending that gives a nice resolution and has some of the characters finally learning a lesson and change their ways. The soundtrack is alright, and there are a few good scenes with Darnell and his family that could warm your heart and bring some light to this otherwise tragic comedy.
Because of all of these elements and more, this film gets a 3/10. It is a film that had potential but truthfully falls flat too often to be one that people should run out to see.
If you are looking for a simple comedy, this is a film you may like. If you want to see a movie that is original and different, you may want to check this one out. It is not a great comedy by any means and is not one kids should see at all. But it is simple and sometimes that is all people are looking for in a movie. But if you want to see something creative and that you will really enjoy, this is not the film for you. Best to avoid it all together or wait until it comes out on Netflix.
See the trailer below: