Movie Review: Talladega Nights (2006)

Modest effort at NASCAR satire/comedy (5/10)
Original Coffee Coaster review on March 16, 2007

Continuing in review of some of the movies that amazingly did not show up at the Academy—I mean who actually watches movies like The Queen, Letters from Iwo Jima, or The Departed, anyway?—I thought the story of Ricky Bobby warranted an evaluation.

Candidly, I like the way the title sounds!

Was the effort modest… or feeble? Who knows?  But I have to say up front Ferrell movies (e.g. Old School and Anchorman) have the same look and feel of one another.  (The first few Adam Sandler movies are like that, too: basically cookie-cutter juvenile gross-out escapades that contain possibly two genuinely comic scenes among them.)

And gross it does! I’m not sure what Ferrell’s box office is, compared to, say, George Clooney’s movies, but I’ll bet it’s on the order of viewership of professional wrestling compared to girls’ basketball.

Popularity is no reason to hold anything against someone, Ferrell included.  In this movie he teams up with Adam McKay of Ron Burgundy, Anchorman, fame to tell the story of a boy who has racing in his blood and lives to fulfill his father’s motto: “If you’re not first, you’re last.”

The first scene conveys the delivery of young Ricky Bobby.  While his mother is in labor in the back seat, his dad, Reese (Gary Cole), pops the clutch in his Chevelle Super Sport to expel… well I don’t want to spoil it for you.  Qua plot, that’s more or less a high point. Continue reading