Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Overlooked Movies: Talladega Nights:The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Summertime is rerun time, USA.  This review originally appeared in different form in January of 2007.

Yes, the new year begins in typical fashion. While you were watching Volver (or maybe Pan's Labyrinth) without subtitles and taking notes in Spanish, I was watching Talladega Nights. And, yes, I laughed. Quite a bit, in fact. When it comes to movies, I have no taste and no shame.

I'm not a big Will Farrell fan, and in fact I thought his cameo really brought down The Wedding Crashers. I've never seen Elf.  (Update: Now I have.)  I did like his George Bush impression, though, and I liked parts of Anchorman: the Legend of Ron Burgundy. And I liked Talladega Nights, too, in spite of the fact that none of the movie takes place at night. Maybe somebody just liked the title.

I figure about half this movie must have been improvised, but that's fine. Farrell, John C. Riley, and Sacha Baron Cohen are good at that sort of thing. There are no real characters, just caricatures, with Cohen's flamboyantly gay NASCAR driver leading the way. The story is the typical bio-pic arc, with the rise, the fall, and the return to glory, but it's just there to hang some outrageous gags on. I didn't care. I still thought it was funny. Sometime when you're in a goofy mood, check it out.


James Reasoner said...

I liked it a lot, especially the post-credits scene.

Deb said...

I wouldn't call it overlooked exactly--my kids quote huge chunks of it from memory (family favorite: "If you ain't first, you're last"), plus it seems to be showing on a non-stop loop between TBS, TNT, and FX.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Not for me. I don't like Ferrell except in very small doses or occasionally in something like STRANGER THAN FICTION. Ferrell together with Reilly I really find unwatchable, and about five minutes of Sacha Baron Cohen is my limit.

Other than that... .

Rick Ollerman said...

My son's ski racing coach nicknamed him "Ricky Bobby." Now some people think my last name is "Bobby." And he wants to watch the movie, and just having turned 12 I haven't let him. (He's the one that turned 12; I'm way older but I still only watched enough to think it wouldn't be appropriate for him.) This movie is like gum on my shoe every winter.

Cap'n Bob said...

What Jeff said.