Thu 17 Aug 2006
I am not a crook!
Racing its way to #1 at the box office the last few weeks has been “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby”.
And why not? The film stars comedy’s current champion, Will Ferrell. He’s supported by the always-great John C. Reilly and there are great supporting performances by Gary Cole, Michael Clarke Duncan and Sacha Baron Cohen (some know him better as Ali G).
All of that, really loud cars, perhaps more product placement than “Wayne’s World” and I still almost fell asleep two or three times.
The sad thing is, with all of that talent, the film really isn’t all that funny.
All of the jokes are in the trailer. And all the other jokes are retreads of the jokes you saw in the trailer.
Maybe I should have taken a bigger look at the title of the film, “The Ballad of Ricky Bobby”. Instead of going for all out wackiness, director Adam McKay tried too hard to make a complete film.
Sure, there’s a place for heart and story in films. Even in comedies. Look at “The 40 Year Old Virgin” for an example of how to do it right.
Even more sad is that McKay directed the hilarious “Anchorman”. His teaming with Ferrell there worked like magic.
Inside the world of NASCAR, all of that magic was gone.
I’m not even going to bother trying to find the faults in the film. I just want to move on now.
I’m giving “Talladega Nights” a 2 out of 5. I found some funny moments and the actors give strong performances but the film moves like it’s stuck in 1st gear and just like Ricky Bobby, “I wanna go fast.”
Whatever you do, take a right at this clunker and head for something else. I’m pretty sure you can get a six-pack of your favored beverage and still have a few ones left over for the Gentleman’s Club with the $10 you’re saving by missing this film.
**4/22/08** As I’ve let this film waft across my TV a few times since it hit the cable market, I’ve warmed up to it more and more. I still find it sub-standard to “Anchorman” and just about any other Will Ferrell vehicle (except that terrible soccer coaching film), but if it comes around the cable bend and you haven’t seen it, feel free. At least now, you’re not plopping down $353 dollars on tickets, popcorn, soda and jujubees … the money to hire the escort to watch this with you is another story.