Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby</strong> (2006)

(On DVD, September 2016) “Will Ferrell as a NASCAR driver” is reportedly how Talladega Nights was green-lit, and it’s the only thing you really need to know about the film. Ferrell brings his usual man-child persona to the NASCAR world and the result is even with the other core movies of his filmography: expect dumb humour, at least one big freak-out, and plenty of juvenile gags. It works in its own manner: By firing so many jokes, Talladega Nights eventually lands a few, and it can coast a long time on the other actors propping up in the movie. John C. Reilly wasn’t known as a silly comedian at the time (Since then and films such as Walk Hard and Step-Brothers, that has changed), Amy Adams appears in a short but striking role, and Sacha Baron Cohen also brings the laughs as a French antithesis to Ferrell’s red-state persona. The film is passably quotable (even from its opening title card), and some of the raceway action is genuinely impressive in its own right. Talladega Nights, in other words, is no more and no less than what it promises to be, even if that may not be exactly what viewers want.

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