The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
Rating: 4½ Stars
Sometimes you wonder if a movie can't possibly live up to the hype. I mean, Will Ferrell was showing up to the Oscar's, Golden Globe's, & ESPY's in his Wonderbread race suit. The ESPY's ran a special comedic "SportsCentury" bit on Ricky Bobby. Will Ferrell & John C. Reilly even went and did an hour on Larry King Live acting like their persona's (Ricky Bobby & Cal Naughton, Jr. -- "SHAKE & BAKE!") for the entire episode! There's no way the movie can live up to this kind of hype, right?
Well, Will Ferrell delivered. Enjoy it folks, because he is absolutely in his prime. It's sad to say, but as the Sports Guy pointed out in his review, comedians don't have that long of a shelf life. Jim Carey just isn't as funny as he was when he was pumping out Ace Ventura and Dumb and Dumber. Adam Sandler still delivers funny moments now & then, but he hasn't really delivered since Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore. Well, we now have two certifiable, high-grade comedic hits from Ferrell -- Anchorman & Talladega Nights -- and even a mild hit with Elf. The guy is comedic gold right now. I hope he can keep it up.
I'm seriously considering wasting $21.99 on this hat.
Other random thoughts:
- This is going to go down as one of the most quote-able movies of all time. Up there with Dumb & Dumber and Napolean Dynamite. It will be a cultural phenomenon for years to come.
- I really want a Ricky Bobby #26 Wonderbread hat. And, yes, I do know that it is a complete waste of $21.99. But think of the laughs I'll get EVERYWHERE whenever I wear that hat!
- Awesome soundtrack. Whether they wanted you to laugh or to get you pumped up, the music was well-placed.
- Car racing & movies just go together. It works. The sound of the engines & the cars really gets your blood pumping. Good stuff.
- The acting was PHENOMENAL. Will Ferrell really pulled off the cocky redneck (with a little embellishment, of course, for comedy's sake). John C. Reilly nailed the role of country bumpkin. And there's this excellent scene with Ferrell, Reilly, & Michael Clarke Duncan (the big black guy from The Green Mile) that had me ROLLING with laughter. Duncan didn't contribute a whole lot to the film comedy-wise, but his delivery in that scene is perfect. The kids who play Ricky Bobby's sons were good -- it's just that the younger one was funny while the older one seemed more perverse. And the guy who played Ricky Bobby's father (who was also the boss from Office Space .... "Yeahhhhhhhh ...") nailed his role. There wasn't any slacking in this film like there can be sometimes in comedies -- everyone's acting was on the mark.
All in all, you can probably tell that I enjoyed the experience. I highly recommend that you go enjoy Ricky Bobby.