"Talladega Nights" isn't the worst film out there, but it isn't the funniest either. Will Ferrell can execute some very funny moments in his films, especially in "Elf." However, when he's given free reign in a film, as he was in this and also in "Anchorman," Ferrell seems to skip the part about trying to be funny and attempts to be all out silly. This leaves the viewer wondering why much of the dialogue between his character and the rest in the film often makes no sense whatsoever.
In "Talladega Nights," Ferrell plays Ricky Bobby, an idiot who "wants to go fast" and lives by the code his deadbeat father gave him at career day in his school: "If you're not first, you're last." With this standard in tow, Ricky becomes the top racer in NASCAR, thanks to the help of his best friend, Cal Naughton, Jr. (John C. Reilly). In the wings, however, is one Jean Girard (Sasha Baron Cohen), a Formula One racer who is determined to take over NASCAR and eliminate Ricky Bobby. Well, that's what seems to be Girard motive, but there is another reason he is in NASCAR that is revealed later in the film. After a terrible accident, Ricky Bobby loses his will to win, his wife, and his home. His friend, Cal, takes his wife, his home, and the NASCAR spotlight. Ricky and his two sons head for Ricky's hometown, where he moves back in with his mother. While living with his mom, Ricky learns that he needs to quit trying to impress others and do things for himself. His useless father also drifts into town and teaches him how to be a real racer. It all boils down to Talladega, where Ricky Bobby faces his old best friend and his new French foe.
The story is just plain silly. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, but it all feels forced upon the viewer. It's as if Ferrell is saying, "It's me, Will Ferrell, laugh!" I have nothing against Ferrell, but he just isn't funny in this flick. It features ex-SNL buddies, David Koechner and Molly Shannon. Koechner never was funny on SNL in my opinion, and he does nothing to improve his status with me here. Shannon has a minor role but makes the most of it and is one of the few bright spots in the film. Gary Cole plays Ferrell's father and had he had better lines to work with, he would have done a better job. John C. Reilly is good, but he is so much better in other films. Sasha Baron Cohen is wasted here. He's much funnier than this flick would imply.
Overall, if you enjoyed Ferrell in "Anchorman," you'll probably find this film to be hilarious. I personally just don't care for it. If you're a NASCAR fan, I'm sure you can enjoy the ribbings poked at you and your sport, but there must be something better out there.
This ridiculous farce along the intelligence level of Steve Martin’s “The Jerk” does have its few funny moments and catchy lines (If you don’t finish first, you’re last!). Race car movies are usually very boring (“Days of Thunder”) but though this movie may be annoying at times it is certainly not boring. Ricky Bobby was the product of an uncaring father who left him as a baby and would periodically show up and embarrass him (ex. … more
This ridiculous farce along the intelligence level of Steve Martin's "The Jerk" does have its few funny moments and catchy lines (If you don't finish first, you're last!). Race car movies are usually very boring ("Days of Thunder") but though this movie may be annoying at times it is certainly not boring. Ricky Bobby was the product of an uncaring father who left him as a baby and would periodically show up and embarrass him (ex. Career Day at Bobby's elementary school). As Ricky becomes a famous … more
Pros: Will Ferrel, Jane Lynch, John C Reilly, NASCAR send up, laugh out loud humor Cons: Some may not enjoy the pratfalls and silliness The Bottom Line: A solid comedy that left me smiling. A gentle poke at the culture of NASCAR and NASCAR culture. Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. On a recent trip on Delta Airlines, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby was the movie. What a treat … more
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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Sweet baby Jesus, we thank you for blessing Will Ferrell and Adam McKay with the talent to create a NASCAR comedy as hilarious as Talladega Nights. The so-called "Ballad of Ricky Bobby" is hardly flawless in fact it's not always firing on all cylinders but with comedy star Ferrell and director McKay still hot from the success of their previous comedy hit Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, most of this 108-minute spoof of oval-track racing is so knee-slappin' funny that you can't help but surrender to the stupidity.