Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

talladega-nightsAs a young boy growing up Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell – Old School, Melinda and Melinda) never really gets to know his estranged no good father, Reese (Gary Cole – The Ring Two, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story). The only things he remembers of his father is that he drove a race car and he once said, “If you ain’t first, you’re last”. Egged on by this memory and a need to go fast, Ricky becomes a member of a crew pit for a terrible NASCAR driver, Terry Cheveaux (Adam McKay – Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy). Cheveaux gets out of the car during a pit stop and sits down to eat something not really in any rush to get back into the car. Crew chief, Lucius Washington (Michael Clarke Duncan – The Green Mile, Sin City), asks if anyone else can drive and so begins the NASCAR career of Ricky Bobby. He is very successful and quickly becomes the number one driver in NASCAR. Ricky makes a lot of money and marries a hottie named Carley (Leslie Bibb – The Skulls, Private Parts). He even manages to get his best friend Cal Naughton Jr. (John C. Reilly – A Prairie Home Companion, Chicago) a car to drive. Everything is going great until Dennit Racing owner, Larry Dennit Jr. (Greg Germann – from television’s Ally McBeal) hires the number one Formula 1 driver, Jean Girard (Sacha Baron Cohen – Madagascar), to come drive for the team. Jean Girard and Ricky Bobby become mortal enemies and Girard begins to win races leaving Ricky Bobby out in the cold. After surviving a spectacular crash, Ricky Bobby finds himself too frightened to drive anymore. Things begin to fall apart for Ricky when Carley leaves Ricky and Cal Naughton Jr. marries her then moves into Ricky’s house. Having nowhere else to turn, Ricky moves back into his mom’s (Jane Lynch – The 40 Year Old Virgin, Best in Show) house. He has to try and figure out a way to get over his fear to return to NASCAR again.

How many times are we expected to shell out money for the same movie with the same tired old adolescent jokes? Don’t get me wrong, I love Will Ferrell and think he is hysterical. But how many times am I expected to laugh at him running around in his tighty whities? As usual this is a film where Ferrell demonstrates that he is willing to do anything to get a laugh. This is an admirable and important quality to have as a comedic actor, but once you get a laugh for a schtick that you’ve done move on! Don’t keep doing it. Eventually the laughter will fade away. Supposedly much of what we see onscreen in this film was improvised, but maybe they should have stuck to a skeleton script of original ideas, if at all possible. Farrell and director Adam McKay have stuffed the film so full of stereotypes about people from the South and NASCAR that it almost was too much for me. It became no longer funny. For those who come to the film expecting some good race scenes forget about it. There are none. The focus of the film is comedy and not car racing. At the advance screening the crowd was really enjoying the film and laughing along with every joke or stunt, so I am sure that the film will do well enough at the box office. I would just like to state for the record that I am on to you who make the same films over and over and while there are some funny scenes in Talladega Nights, not enough to fool me into enjoying it.

Special Features:
-Deleted and Extended Scenes
-Gag Reel
-Alternate lines not used in film
-Interviews with Ricky, Cal and Carley
-Bonus Race Footage
-Will Ferrell Returns To Talladega
-Audio Commetary with Director and Friends
-Daytona 500 Spot
-NASCAR Chase for the Nextel Cup Spot
-DVD-ROM link to NASCAR.com
-Interviews with Jean Girard and Gregory
-Walker & Texas Ranger: Montage and Outtakes
-More Deleted Scenes: What’d You Do Today? and Cal Calls Ricky
-Ricky and Cal’s Commercials
-Ricky and Cal’s Public Service Announcement

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