Now Playing: ‘Get Hard’ arouses interest despite premise

Jackson French

Jackson French

Though armed with a dumb premise, the movie “Get Hard” proves to be a decent comedy. Frequently tasteless but with surprisingly profound social commentary, Will Ferrell’s latest offering is more worthwhile than it looks.  

Convicted of fraud, millionaire James King (Ferrell) enlists the guy who washes his car (Kevin Hart), who he mistakenly thinks has served time, to teach him how to survive on the inside during his upcoming sentence.

Ferrell has honed his approach to comedy over the years and doesn’t deviate from it, proving to be hit or miss with his jokes throughout the movie. Hart, meanwhile, is far more tolerable than normal, relying less on high-pitched screaming than he has in the past. 

For its humor, “Get Hard” relies too much on crude gags. The jokes, including an overabundance of uncomfortable references to prison rape and oral sex, have a tendency to be offensive and predictable. Despite this, the movie still provides enough solid moments to maintain interest in the story. 

“Get Hard” is bursting with commentary on the country’s racial divide and how it affects wealth, crime and opportunity. We see plenty of contrast between the two main characters’ lifestyles, humorously calling attention to King’s misunderstandings of how normal people live. His attempts at joining an all-black gang also provide some witty explorations of how society treats race. Depending a bit too much on stereotypes, the movie’s approach isn’t always graceful, but it leaves viewers with more to think about than might be expected.  

Though by no means spectacular, “Get Hard” manages to rise above the stupidity of its premise. Despite a habit of taking its own crudeness further than necessary, the movie is a marginally satisfying experience.