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Overall Rating
3.61

Awesome: 24.79%
Worth A Look38.02%
Just Average: 22.31%
Pretty Crappy: 3.31%
Sucks: 11.57%

9 reviews, 67 user ratings


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Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Lybarger

"Not the smoothest ride, but it gets you there."
4 stars

In terms of construction, “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” is similar to the last movie director Adam McKay and actor Will Ferrell made together, “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.” It’s the cinematic equivalent of a muscle car reconstructed exclusively from salvage parts that not only runs but wins street races.

“Talladega Nights” has a weak storyline, logic gaps, excessive product placement and a “good taste be damned” attitude. Curiously, it’s quite funny.

The title character (Ferrell) is a fellow who was born to burn fossil fuels. In fact, his mother (Jane Lynch) actually delivers him in a speeding car.

Ricky’s obsession with peeling out means just about everyone but his pal Cal Naughton, Jr. (John C. Reilly) thinks he’s a basket case.

That perception changes when he reaches adulthood and abruptly moves from a pit crew job into driving. From the moment he steps behind the steering wheel, Ricky quickly becomes a natural at winning races and gains the heart of a gorgeous fan (Leslie Bibb).

His time in the winner’s circle is cut shot when a mean-spirited driver from France named Jean Girard (Sacha Baron Cohen of “Da Ali G Show”) intimidates him both on and off the track and Cal begins to resent having to finish second to his pal.

The script by Ferrell and McKay has some inspired moments. Ricky’s bratty kids, Walker (Houston Tumlin) and Texas Ranger (Grayson Russell), spout unbelievably vile utterances that have to be heard to be believed.

Nonetheless, the screenwriters don’t seem to have spent much time thinking the storyline through. At one point, Ricky breaks his arm (I won’t tell you how), but during a race shortly after, it’s miraculously healed. Or Ferrell and McKay didn’t think it was funny anymore.

To McKay’s credit, he knows how to coax better performances from Ferrell than most of his peers do. Ferrell’s height and irregular features make him a poor choice for the everyman roles he was saddled with in “Kicking and Screaming” and “Bewitched.” He’s at his best when he plays a sweet innocent or a complete buffoon. Here he gets to be both.

Even though “Talladega Nights” is clearly intended as his vehicle, Ferrell as a performer and screenwriter is more than happy to share the spotlight. Cohen is a scream as the Gallic antagonist, and can generate chuckles by simply opening his mouth.

Some might accuse his flamingly gay character as being homophobic. But McKay has learned an important lesson from Mel Brooks. If you’re going to make fun of one group of people, be sure to spread the satire around. Rural southerners are mocked even more frequently than gays are in this one.

The real star in “Talladega Nights” is probably Gary Cole as Ricky’s lowlife father Reese. As he’s demonstrated since “Office Space,” Cole can play obnoxious characters and make them mesmerizing. You pray that you never have to meet his characters in real life, but they’re fascinating to watch from the safety of a movie screen.

The alcoholic Reese disappears from Ricky’s life for decades at a time and is constantly spouting life lessons at his son even though he really has nothing to teach his offspring. Just when you think Reese might have some hidden nobility, his inner heel surfaces like an underground nuclear test.

Amy Adams, fresh from her Oscar-nominated turn in “Junebug” has a couple of delightful moments, but it would have been more fun if Ricky had spent more time with her character Susan (Ricky’s manager) than with Carley. Adams has too much to offer for the meager screen time she receives here.

The outtakes that run though the credits indicate why the film succeeds even when it shouldn’t. Much of the dialogue during these cut scenes was apparently improvised. Apparently, McKay is willing to let his cast cut loose and knows what belongs on the screen and on the cutting room floor.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=14906&reviewer=382
originally posted: 08/04/06 01:33:01
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User Comments

3/18/16 Charles Tatum Plotless but quotable 4 stars
10/21/12 Sean Harrison Proof Will Ferrel can actually be funny if he chooses. 4 stars
3/08/08 jbubbles The only reason to see this movie is for Sasha Baron Cohen and he's not even in it alot. i 1 stars
1/22/08 Chase Overall it was a good movie, but it had its bad parts. Shake and Bake!! 4 stars
8/06/07 mr.mike so bad it made me long for "Stroker Ace" 2 stars
4/27/07 Dark Enchantress it was okay, not the best but okay 3 stars
4/15/07 Ricky awesome !! 5 stars
4/10/07 Dan Very funny, though the gay French driver subplot falls a little flat. Anchorman is better. 4 stars
3/26/07 Angela Movie is hilarious. Those who dispute should remove stick from anus 5 stars
2/12/07 Indrid Cold Not bad. Somewhat quirkier and funnier than a typical mainstream comedy. 4 stars
1/26/07 Tamara Leonard I found it disgusting, degrading and insulting as a Southern lady. 1 stars
1/21/07 del shake and bake=some parts good, some bad 3 stars
1/07/07 Jack & Dianne Moronic unfunny boring slapstick; unappealing characters; hit "stop" after 30 min. 1 stars
12/28/06 Phil M. Aficionado I guess I just don't have much of an appetite for Ferrell anymore. Snoozer 2 stars
12/23/06 chris that movie wasted the last two hours of my life. id rather beat off with a sos pad 1 stars
12/21/06 Kara I love this movie, it is halarious and Will Ferrell is amazing! 5 stars
12/12/06 sean u people who didnt like it or laugh are completely retarded, justt like voting for bush 5 stars
12/12/06 Gerrit ONE OF THE BEST WILL FERREL MOVIES 5 stars
11/17/06 Elza Hudson Terribly boring 1 stars
11/12/06 Caiphn Definately has some really funny moments, it's no Anchorman though. 3 stars
11/07/06 Jenna Furr MUCH MUCH better than ANCHORMAN, but still barely average. 3 stars
10/30/06 Jacko wacko Made me think of Dodgeball and was to slow and unintersting 2 stars
10/29/06 john frei 5 stars best movie ever throughout whole movie your crying cuz your laughing so hard 5 stars
10/28/06 Tony Man If you didn't like it, you're too serious about NASCAR, or you should be in Church. LOL 5 stars
10/24/06 Drew G Pretty funny, though not as good as Anchorman 4 stars
9/27/06 heelyes06 this movie was simply amazing and for all of you that don't like it.... then fuck you 5 stars
9/21/06 Anthony Feor Terrible, pure garbage 1 stars
9/16/06 Miterban Isdurty Iit seemed like a one long commercial (product placements) 3 stars
9/12/06 Ryan Michael loved anchorman\ this was a bad idea for an adult comedy 1 stars
9/04/06 bobby b pure junk-stupid 1 stars
9/02/06 Dragon The Artist Ferrell's director needs to get a new click;same basic premisis as stupid Anchorman. 1 stars
8/27/06 Dan Not as good as Anchorman. Needed a better supporting cast (Cole and the kids were great) 3 stars
8/23/06 Chad Thomas Some really hilarious bits but uneven. 3 stars
8/19/06 Mase Minless fun, though the white trash caricutures become grating after awhile 4 stars
8/18/06 Stephanie Terrell Not for kids. PG13 is under rated. For adults. 2 families left. 3 stars
8/17/06 sarah wooten very funny 5 stars
8/17/06 Pn. Special props to Cole. Drive-in double bill with CARS (if you've got the right kids). 4 stars
8/16/06 Jessie WONDERFUL... HILARIOUS... GRAND 5 stars
8/16/06 allysha awesome movie 5 stars
8/14/06 Ashley Hinz Forgettable Ferrell, not his best. 4 stars
8/14/06 EZ hilirious but the gayness ruined the perfectness of the comedy 4 stars
8/13/06 Ole Man Bourbon Pretty damn funny. Gary Cole is awesome as Reese Bobby, the dad. Cohen and Reilly goodtoo 4 stars
8/13/06 Zac Its a great movie. Keeps you laughing. 5 stars
8/13/06 pete and les terrible 1 stars
8/12/06 jcjs i know 'Awesome' is perhaps too generous but few moives make laugh.fine fun stuff light 5 stars
8/12/06 trashfishermen15 movie pretty lame; no need for excessive amounts of profanity. 1 stars
8/11/06 Braden Funnier than Anchorman Its definitely goin into my top 5 5 stars
8/11/06 Mitchapalooza 1 movie with a million catch frazes..i love it! 5 stars
8/10/06 michael Not as good as I had hoped but better than some others 3 stars
8/10/06 ken baldwin dumbest movie I've seen in a long time...funny to the lowest common denominator 1 stars
8/10/06 A its up there alright 5 stars
8/09/06 sheila Terrific fun and great even for non-Ferrell fans 5 stars
8/09/06 Elisa Giro Ebullient! 4 stars
8/09/06 allie This movie was great, but you have to walk in ready to laugh, there is nothing else to it. 5 stars
8/08/06 Dragon The Artist Ferrell's director needs to get a new click;same basic premisis as stupid Anchorman. 1 stars
8/08/06 Braelyn AMAZING!!! 5 stars
8/08/06 Maggie funny movie, not as funny as anchorman though. 4 stars
8/07/06 Jordan funniest movie everr..i would definitelyy see it again! 5 stars
8/07/06 Jennifer Funniest movie I have ever seen! Best quotes ever. Loved it. 5 stars
8/07/06 Bobby Can't top Anchorman..i'd see it again 5 stars
8/06/06 Trisha I agree the movie had the same premise as anchorman with a few different twists & laughs. 5 stars
8/06/06 Dan Hope team Ferrell gets a big pay check cuz the movie blows... 2 stars
8/06/06 Vincent Costa Very Good 4 stars
8/05/06 Unknown It was a funny movie but my favorite sceens were the ones with Jamie McMurray in them! 4 stars
8/04/06 Ole Man Bourbon It's cute, but it's crap. Too many shitty one-liners. Daddy steals the show. :D 4 stars
8/04/06 Brad Worst movie of the year. I wasnt expecting an academy award, however, it sucked out loud 1 stars
8/01/06 julie we laughed our heads off at a preview last night and are still giggling today 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  04-Aug-2006 (PG-13)
  DVD: 12-Dec-2006

UK
  15-Sep-2006

Australia
  21-Sep-2006




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