Got around to watching Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby this weekend and the movie left me with two questions:
1. Was it supposed to be funny? Because other than a few scattered moments of mild amusement, it really wasn't.
2. Why does a comedy like this have to last TWO HOURS AND TWO MINUTES? If you can't get 'er done in ninety minutes, then something's wrong with the concept and execution, the latter especially in this case. It wasn't a bad movie, it just wasn't very good. And it could have been much better had it been a quarter shorter.
I think part of my problem with Talladega Nights is that I'm just not sold on Will Ferrell's ability to carry a movie. He doesn't have the kind of comic talent that can lift an average script to the next level and, despite the fact that it's apparently a required scene in almost every movie he appears in, watching him run around in his underwear or even worse naked is simply not funny.
Anchor Man was probably the Ferrell movie that I enjoyed the most. While it was by no means a comedy classic, it was decent and I was disappointed that Talladega Nights doesn't merit even that lukewarm sort of praise. About the only good thing I can say about Talladega Nights is that it's better than Old School, which may go down in history as the most overrated comedy of all time.
UPDATE-- Paul e-mails to largely concur:
Agreed with your movie review, except I liked it a little less than you. Most dissapointing were the fact that Sasha Cohen and Andy Richter, who I both find capable of humor, were terribly unfunny every second they appeared on screen.
I have a serious question related to this type of movie. Does the project get greenlighted based on the first fifteen minutes of script? Because I can name about 50 comedys that I've seen in the last 10 years that are pretty damn funny for fifteen minutes, but very unfunny after that. In this case, the scene where they said grace at the beginning of the movie was hilarious, then there were no other funny parts, with the possible exception of a couple lines by John C. Reilly.
Kudos to you for pointing out that the emporer really has no clothes, when it comes to the humor of a naked Will Ferrell.
When Talladega Nights came out, I heard rave reviews of Sasha Cohen's performance as the gay French foil, but I too found his character utterly unfunny.
Actually I thought the best character was Reese Bobby, played by Gary Cole (probably best known as Bill Lumbergh from Office Space).