Monday, August 07, 2006

MOVIE REVIEW: Talladega Nights the Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Will Ferrell has made another comedy and thematically it's the same as Anchorman. Stupid celebrity loves himself and his success, he gets thrown off his perch by a rival and is forced to battle back for the rest of the movie. He redeems himself as a hero and he learns a life lesson along the way--The End. You can pretty much stick a fork in this formula--cause it is done, but if you're smart you don't go to a Will Ferrell movie for the plot. Yes it was stupid and asinine but it was also funny.

The story follows the career of Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) as a pit crew worker who gets his chance to "Drive fast" as a NASCAR driver. In no time flat he becomes the fastest driver ever using his motto "If you're not first, you're last." He makes his even dumber buddy Cal Naughton, Jr. (John C. Reilly) a driver. And being the loyal friend that he is he always comes in second to his good buddy Ricky. "Shake and Bake," Ricky and Cal, dominate the circuit until a gay Frenchman, Jean Girard (Sacha Baron Cohen), unleashes his speed to challenge Ricky for first place.

I was never a NASCAR fan, and being in North Carolina most of your life you can't really avoid it. I just don't understand how anyone can enjoy watching cars drive in a circle over and over again for hours; to me it seemed, well stupid. I think if they filmed NASCAR the way they filmed this movie it could be a little more entertaining, I mean you finally get to see how friggin fast those cars are really going. What really kept this movie fresh and funny was the supporting cast. Gary Cole, as Reece Bobby, Ricky's derelict hash smoking father. Andy Richter as Gregory the Frenchman's boy toy. You also had Molly Shannon, Jane Lynch, Michael Clarke Duncan and I'm still trying to understand why Amy Adams was in this movie. (She was hilarious in Junebug.) The biggest surprise of the movie was the kids, Walker (Houston Tumlin) and Texas Ranger (Grayson Russell), who the hell were they where did they come from? They had hilariously great southern accents and their comedic timing was perfect. Just so we are clear there was no substance whatsoever in this film, the driving sequences were great and the ad-lib comedy style of "Shake and Bake" was worth admission.

Grade: 3 Buckets


Speck said...

I just saw this movie tonight. I had no desire from the previews because it just looked unfunny compared to the genius of anchorman.

Well, I was wrong. I was cracking up hard at this movie. And the surprise of Ali G/Borat himself as the main nemesis was icing on the cake.

Thanks to very well done CGI and other live capture techniques the race sequences were very well done. The casting was great, and the one liners were hilarious.

I'd give it 4 buckets.

JudgeHolden said...

More like 5. What's the max on this thing? Whatever the max is, this thing should get. It's that funny.