Thursday, August 10, 2006

Talladega Nights

Director- Adam McKay (Anchorman)

Let me begin by saying I am not a huge Will Ferrell fan. While some of this SNL stuff was good, a lot of it grated on me, and I could not help but think that sometimes people laughed just because he was being very loud and aggressively obnoxious. This criticism I felt very strongly about Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, a film of which most of my peers sat in guffawing awe. That movie ad its moments, but overall I thought was rather dispensable and extremely forgettable.

On the other hand, I am a pretty big fan of Sacha Baron Cohen. Da Ali G Show is one of my favorites, and the guy has a good sensibility about his humor, especially some of his more politically charged stuff. That's why this movie was so surprising to me- I really liked Will Ferrell in it and mostly thought Cohen's character was less entertaining.

This movie was pretty funny. I reccommend it. Ferrell's antics really add to the movie, and I think the film has a lot more fun poking fun at its characters while allowing them to be at least slighlty dynamic. Even though Cohen's gay racer is less a winner, he still has some inspired moments. And the film works as a satire of both backwardness and corporate sponorship. Unlike a trailer, I do not want to give away some of the movie's funnier moments. But the story is simple: Ferrell plays racer Ricky Bobby, who was born to drive and quickly ascends to dominance in NASCAR. His life is perfect with his best friend Cal and his family, until Cohen's race car driver comes to wreck his life by racing out of his mind.

Most of these "dumb comedies" for me are like elections- they are an expectations game. You can not go to an Adam Sandler classic like Happy Gilmore expecting to see a great film. But if you come in with the right frame of mind, you may find yourself entertained. This film did not just entertain me- it was actually pretty doggone good.