Get Hard, the latest comedy film with Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell, just opened in theaters this week. The film was highly anticipated because of the two funnymen that people were sure would bring on the laughs. After the film opened, critics immediately began ripping it to shreds.
First, there were several critiques about Will Ferrell’s middle-aged humor not being up to par for the film. With the storyline of a professional who has been sentenced to prison for embezzling and then looks to a random black man for advice on how to survive in prison, Get Hard already looked insensitive to some people after watching the promo. In the movie, according to the Atlantic, Will Ferrell’s age and personality made him unfit for this film and most likely for many films to follow. Critic Christopher Orr made this opinion very directly.
“Ferrell, 47, is now less likely to play a primal agent of chaos than a clueless, middle-aged white man upon whom chaos is unleashed.”
In addition to Ferrell’s lack of youth and funniness, the film left many critics feeling offended at the abundance of gay sex jokes. Reportedly, Get Hard started off with a variety of jokes about crime and race, but then completely shifted to many jokes on the same subject: prison rape. While reports of males being sexually assaulted in prison are real, the jokes in Get Hard reportedly focused much more on the gay sex factor than the issue of forced sex. Another critic, Bilge Ebiri, vividly describes the vulgarity of the prison-rape jokes.
“Alas, Get Hard eventually becomes just one big prison-rape joke, repeated ad nauseam in every conceivable permutation. While Darnell attempts to teach James how to act (and be) tough, it’s all at the service of keeping him from becoming someone’s ‘b***h’ — not exactly fresh comic ground.”
Along with the concerns about racial stereotyping and offensive gay jokes, some critics say that the film overall is not very funny. Critic Alex Abab-Santos believes that Get Hard is lazy and does not meet its goal to spread a message about “privilege and prejudice.”
“What we’re left with is a lazy piece of filmmaking that lacks teeth. All it really wants to do is show you Ferrell and Hart are the good, funny guys. And perhaps that’s why we’re hit with a barrage of dated jokes, dull punchlines, and offensive gags. It’s doubly strange watching Ferrell, who is exponentially smarter and more aware than this film would indicate, lean into the low-effort material he’s given.”
The were no statements made against Kevin Hart’s performance by any critics. And many critics feel that Will Ferrell was simply given a bad part to play.
[Image via Philly.com]