Introduced on-stage by its excitable star duo, Get Hard is the new comedy vehicle for Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart.
A high-concept comedy that looks to satirise cultural stereotypes, when millionaire banker James King (Ferrell) is found guilty of fraud and sentenced to serve time in prison, he turns to the only African-American in his world for advice, Darnell Lewis (Hart), the car cleaning business owner in his parking lot.
To the film’s credit, there are steady moments of comedy throughout, but director Etan Cohen and the writing team throw so much at the screen it’s not surprising some of it sticks. Unfortunately Get Hard largely fails to satirise its racial issues and instead only backs the stereotypes further. It was such a problem, a member of the audience stood up at the end to voice his dissent during the director Q&A, unusual for a film festival when there is normally such a feeling of goodwill.
If you give Get Hard the benefit of the doubt, it is one of the better films of a troubled Ferrell canon in recent years. But while there might have been a good film in there to be made by an edgier crew, the mainstream cast just can’t save its grace.