THE BALLAD OF RICKY BOBBY
had high hopes for this film, and I wasn't disappointed. Tired and completely
sober before I sat down, I laughed out loud at least every 3-5 minutes through
the entire film. The cast is great through and through, and the pace is so much
more solid than Anchorman, which ended great but took a while to catch its
Will Ferrell has really found his niche as the thinking man's dummy. Sure, he
can make some absolute shit films like Bewitched and Kicking and Screaming, but
with the right writer, director, and freedom, he'll pull off some amazingly
absurd stuff, that's plain brilliant.
As Ricky Bobby, he manages to make fun of the whole NASCAR and all it's about,
without reducing it to an easy parody, and still treats the subject matter with
honor and respect.
Gary Cole plays Ricky's pop who ran out on him when he was just a baby, and has
some of the best lines in the film. He has a great knack for comedy, that we all
loved in Office Space, and I'd go as far to say that his work in this film is
Sacha Baron Cohen plays the villain of the film, a French Formula One pro who
joins the NASCAR ranks with a car sponsored by Perrier. He's wonderfully
effeminate, threatening, and bizarre. It's a great performance that makes you
even more excited to see him go solo in Borat later this year.
How do you really rate a film like this? It's just there to make you laugh a
lot, and it succeeds tremendously. And though I'm no NASCAR fan, I'll admit the
racing scenes were very thrilling.
In the hands of the wrong people, say Jared Hess, this same cast and crew ends
up being in one pretty shitty film, but director Adam McKay's great working
relationship with Ferrell via Anchorman and SNL for many years is the perfect
mix for the movie. Let's hope the two keep things just absurd enough in 2007
with the planned Land of the Lost film so that doesn't suck, either.