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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



Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
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by brianorndorf

"It corrects all of Anchorman's mistakes"
5 stars

While I enjoyed the delirious “Anchorman,” the film couldn’t hold itself together long enough for greatness. “Talladega Nights” corrects many of the comedy problems that plagued “Anchorman,” and speeds off to become one of the funniest films of the year.

All his life, Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) has wanted to drive fast and win races. After getting his chance to prove himself as a driver on the NASCAR circuit, Bobby thunders to the number one spot and stays there: raking in the riches, marrying a hot blonde (Leslie Bibb), and relying on the undying friendship of pal Cal (John C. Reilly). When a French driver named Jean Girard (the sublime Sacha Baron Cohen, better known to the world as Ali G and Borat) swoops in and steals Bobby’s glory, the confused champ must restart his life at the bottom. Starved for inspiration, Bobby seeks the help of his friends and his deadbeat dad (Gary Cole) to climb back into the driver’s seat and race again.

This is how you want Will Ferrell. After a year or so of being bewitched or trying to beef up his dramatic chops, Ferrell returns to the playground of freefalling hilarity that he was born for. No pretension, no career ambition, just Ferrell with the pedal to the metal.

“Talladega Nights” builds on what Ferrell and director/cohort Adam McKay were trying to do with their 2004 runaway fire hose “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.” The duo crave absurdist comedy, and their first endeavor was irrefutably hilarious, but it was an exceedingly messy affair that allowed too many camera hog actors the freedom to do whatever they pleased for as long as they could. It was an overstuffed film that ultimately deflated under McKay’s lenient control.

However, it’s all been corrected for “Talladega Nights;” McKay and Ferrell have taken two steps back for this NASCAR-themed comedy, and the restraint shows. Sure, there’s still the goofy stuff. For instance: to get back his racing mojo, Bobby must learn to drive with a live cougar in his car, which fills him with pants-wetting fear (he also doesn’t want his treasured Crystal Gayle t-shirt ripped); and to announce his presence to Bobby’s all-American racing team, Girard selects some jazz off the jukebox, which makes the squad confused, afraid, and sick to their stomachs from this alien sound.

McKay keeps every joke within reach, and there’s a fenced in quality to the humor in “Talladega” that helps it reach the finish line. The picture makes room for a delicious lampooning of NASCAR idiosyncrasies (the production gets a lot of mileage out of outlandish corporate sponsorship), redneck childhood liberties, and the idea of a French gay man in a predominately testosterone-drenched sport. Ferrell and McKay display a sense of delight with Ricky Bobby’s insular worldview, and this film has an appealing gentle rumble to it. Rarely is any joked shoved into the audiences’ faces, and the story, as silly as it gets, is adhered to in ways that make “Anchorman” resemble a box of spilled Legos. This is a tighter, focused directing job by McKay, and he ends up with a better film for his effort.

The bottom line is this: the flick is hilarious, and should end up one of the funniest films of the year. Just to see Will Ferrell back to fighting shape is enough to recommend the film, but the production stepped up and created a comedic competitive world that’s irresistible. And they achieved the unthinkable: they made NASCAR look fun.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=14906&reviewer=404
originally posted: 08/04/06 04:00:29
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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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