On this day in comedy on March 27, 2015, Get Hard was released by Warner Bros.
This buddy comedy starring Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell was the directorial debut of Etan Cohen. The critics savaged it, but as usual what do critics know when it comes to popular taste. The film about an accused white collar criminal tutored by a guy who said who spent time behind bars raked in $90.4 million domestically, $21.3 million internationally for a worldwide total of $111.7 million on a $40 million budget.
Ferrell plays a hedge fund manager with an ideal life. He’s engaged to his boss’ daughter and has a bright future. He’s cheap which is evident by the two-dollar tip he gives his car washer, (Hart), but during a party Ferrell is arrested for embezzlement and given 30 days to get his affairs in order before going to prison for 10 years. He freaks out. Cutting off his ankle monitor, he tries to swoop up his fiancée to run away with him, but the cops bust him again and as they’re taking him away he asks Hart how did he deal with prison? Of course, Hart would have to know – he’s Black. Hart is also crafty. He makes a deal to instruct Ferrell on how to survive for $30,000. Deal!
The normally scary, Hart puts the unsuspecting and scared Ferrell through the rigors of penitentiary life. He peppers sprays him, mad dog faces him, gets him into fights at the park and has a mock prison riot to toughen him up (where Ferrell gets stabbed in the forehead with a homemade shiv). Thinking his once future father-in-law is on the up and up Ferrell tells him he’s getting help and he’ll be okay. That was the wrong thing to say to the actual embezzler. Ferrell’s almost pappy thinks Ferrell is onto him and tells his hit man to take care of Ferrell immediately.
Meanwhile Hart has been convinced that Ferrell is no criminal and certainly not tough so they go in another direction. Hart tells Ferrell he has to learn how to give head or be killed. They even go to a gay hang out, but Ferrell can’t go through with the fellatio. So, Hart tries to get Ferrell into his cousin’s gang so he’ll be protected in prison. No luck. They try a white supremacist gang, but Ferrell is not a convincing racist and they try to kill him thinking he’s a cop. With time running out they figure it was the father-in-law. They get his computer records and have him dead to rights. Ferrell’s fiancée was also in on it and the hitmen are about to handle him and Hart when the US Marshals show up because Ferrell’s ankle monitor went off. After a short hitch behind bars for having an unregistered gun (Ferrell had it hidden up his butt – “kestering”) he is released without incident. His almost pappy didn’t fare as well in the joint. Speaking of – in the end, Hart gets his carwash business and Ferrell gets his life back. Yay!
Get Hard also features the talents of Craig T. Nelson, Alison Brie, T. I., Edwina Findley, Shad Gaspard, Paul Ben-Victor, Ron Funches and Jimmy Fallon and John Mayer as themselves. Christophe Beck composed the music. The screenplay was done by Jay Martel, Ian Roberts and Etan Cohen from a story by Martel, Roberts and Adam McKay.
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton
Check out this clip: