By Ryan Parsons | Images property of Columbia Pictures.
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
When I was told that Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby had laughs up to par with Anchorman it was hard not to feel a little giddy. Ferrell, who has been on fire of late, seems to have created a Nascar comedy with just as much heart as laughs.
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby Reviews
Early reviews have begun to appear for Ricky Bobby with THR and Variety both claiming that the film is downright funny and a box office contender for this upcoming weekend.
It's no news flash that Will Ferrell has an uncanny talent for making his eyes go all dumb, and in "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" he meets his match in John C. Reilly. From its pitch-perfect title through just about every detail, this sendup of sports-triumph movies maintains the right parodic pitch, if not always the highest mph on the laugh speedometer. But there's still plenty of genre-bending goofiness on display, and between the NASCAR faithful and Ferrell's fans, "Talladega" is primed to take the boxoffice flag when it opens Friday.
The rise-and-fall-and-rise saga of "Talladega" has the conviction to undercut every one of its potentially sappy moments. Reilly, an actor of proven dramatic intensity, makes a great comic foil for the gifted Ferrell, and they find ace support from the rest of the cast, which includes Greg Germann, Molly Shannon and Amy Adams ("Junebug").
Simultaneously teasing and loving a subject doesn't make for easy comedy, but writer-star Will Ferrell and director/co-writer Adam McKay pull it off with good-ol'-boy good nature in "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby." NASCAR and its colorful melding of larger-than-life characters and action appear an ideal fit for Ferrell's onscreen persona, translating into terrific summer B.O. as fans of the left-turn-only circuit have a movie they can call their own.
The new pic particularly laps "Anchorman" in characterization, with Ferrell and his supporting cast enjoying several scenes in which they can limn people beneath the funny banter. Ferrell takes a risk in pushing Ricky's most noxious aspects, with the reward that he also earns audience affection by playing a man who's humbled.
Not only does McKay display a strong grip on his actors and camera, he gets the grit, heat and feel of NASCAR racetracks with a near-documentary sensibility. This is perhaps the pic's most surprising dimension, aided by Oliver Wood's ace widescreen lensing, and CG racetrack and car crash effects. It's enough to make Jerry Bruckheimer envious.
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Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby will be released to theatres this Friday, August 4th.