April 5, 2012

Review: Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Until earlier last month, I had never seen this movie from start to finish in its entirety. In fact, I had never even seen this movie in its entirety. But one day, I had basically run out of things that I wanted to do, and was bored before bed. I figured this was as good a way as any to spend a few hours. With that particular attitude going into the movie, I figured to enjoy it somewhat, and that's exactly what I did.

Talladega Nights is pretty good as a movie. It's far from a great movie, but it certainly is above average. Indeed, for both Will Ferrell and Sacha Baron Cohen, this is a solid if not outstanding effort on their parts. Both actors put in enough effort that they give you the kind of performance you've come to expect from them, if not something that truly makes them shine. Ferrell is not nearly as good as he is in Anchorman (but then again will he ever be?), and Baron Cohen doesn't really hit his stride like he does in Borat (or lose it like he does in Bruno). The rest of the supporting cast play their roles solidly, though they are forgettable.

There is nothing particularly unique or clever about the plot, but the general story serves the jokes well. Ferrell is a stock racing savant named Ricky Bobby who keeps winning until one day he crashes and needs to rediscover how to race. Along the way, Baron Cohen's character takes Bobby's place as the best racer in NASCAR, and Bobby must beat him. Again, there's nothing really that different in the general plot, and if you've seen one comedy you understand where the plot is going for all of them, but it's not surprise twists that necessarily make the comedy, but rather the dialogue and the jokes.

In that regard, Talladega Nights does its job well. Though there are very few memorable standout moments, for the most part you'll be chuckling or laughing throughout. The movie also tends to stand the test of time relatively well, though I personally probably won't watch it again.

But at this point, there's no reason not to watch it. After all, it's gotten to the point where it's free on Youtube. I mean, if you have some time, you should watch this movie. It's worth your time.

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