Talladega Nights [DVD]  
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The fastest man on four wheels, Ricky Bobby (WILL FERRELL) is one of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history. A big, hairy American winning machine, Ricky has everything a dimwitted daredevil could want, a luxurious mansion, a smokin' hot wife (LESLIE BIBB) and all the fast food he can eat. But Ricky's turbo-charged lifestyle hits an unexpected speed bump when he's bested by flamboyant Euro-idiot Jean Girard (SACHA BARON COHEN, TV's "Da Ali G Show") and reduced to a fear-ridden wreck. Losing his wife and job to best bud and fellow fool, Cal Naughton, Jr. (JOHN C. REILLY), Ricky must kick some serious asphalt if he's to get his career back on the track, beat Girard and reclaim his fame and fortune. 'Cause as Ricky Bobby always says, IF YOU AIN'T FIRST, YOU'RE LAST!
Sweet baby Jesus, we thank you for blessing Will Ferrell and Adam McKay with the talent to create a NASCAR comedy as hilarious as Talladega Nights. The so-called "Ballad of Ricky Bobby" is hardly flawless in fact it's not always firing on all cylinders but with comedy star Ferrell and director McKay still hot from the success of their previous comedy hit Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, most of this 108-minute spoof of oval-track racing is so knee-slappin' funny that you can't help but surrender to the stupidity.
Obviously, Ferrell's the shining star, and his portrayal of lead-footed pit-crew-member-turned-#1 NASCAR champion Ricky "I Wanna Go Fast" Bobby (how can you not love that name?) is spot-on perfect, righteously spoofing the entirety of NASCAR culture without insulting its oft-ridiculed roots in redneck bootlegging of a bygone era. You could even argue that Talladega Nights is truer to NASCAR than Tom Cruise's Days of Thunder, and it's certainly more entertaining, especially when you add John C. Reilly as Ricky's life-long pal, teammate, and eventual rival Cal Naughton, Jr. (together they're nicknamed "Shake 'n Bake"), and Sacha Baron Cohen (from Da Ali G Show and Borat) as gay French "Formula Un" driver-turned NASCAR rival Jean Girrard, to a stellar cast including Molly Shannon, Greg Germann, Amy Adams and Michael Clarke Duncan.
Sure, it's mostly a showcase for Ferrell's loud, over-the-top antics and nonsensical non sequiturs (like cameo appearances by Elvis Costello and Mos Def), but with Ferrell behind the wheel, Talladega Nights rolls into victory lane with fuel to spare, and there's one final bit of comedy (with a tip of the hat to William Faulkner) for those who sit through the credits. --Jeff Shannon
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Top Customer Reviews
Subtly sending up every "serious" film of this type (mainly Days of Thunder, Top Gun etc) and the real-life downhome ignorance of the redneck NASCAR following, this not only delivers on the gags (this film is truly hilarious) it also is remarkably smart at portraying the emptiness of the blue-collar sports star's life when faced with enormous fortune, media coverage and hero worship, and the fickle desertion of the hero when he hits skid row.
It is a spoof movie, but not in the sense of the Airplane or Scary Movie series - the movie has a real warmth and actually does tell a real human story in amongst the endless side-splitting gags. It also avoids the kind of schmaltzy American syrup-filled scenes of such films by throwing in the unexpected at each turn.
Worth seeing for Sacha Baron Cohen's performance alone, and Ricky Bobby's "grace" before their Pizza Hut and KFC dinner. If you're in the right mood this will have you crying!
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The reason this film has had mixed reviews is likely to be down to the content. Sometimes, jokes can maybe go on a bit too long, or the films breaks on long scenes, and then quickly move onto a different subject, just little things really. I think its also hard to establish what type of audience this is for, which is probably why people like it or hate it, as just like the film Zoolander, you can take it, or you can't.
But in my personal opinion, this is an entertaining film that has it moments, and should give you some good laughs.
Anyway the characters were annoying and the only saving grace is that there are some funny moments - mostly centred around Ferrels drunken father figure and Sacha Bara Cohens french driver.
Cohens comic talents were not utilised to the best they could have been - the director seems to think the biggest joke they can get out of him is a ridiculously over the top french accent.
its a film that doesnt make the best of its comic leads and mostly concentrates mostly on the idiotic redneck characters involved in the main part of the plot. Thankfully it has enough laugh out loud moments to actually make it worthwhile - although it does go on for a bit and the period in the middle where bobby suffers his predicted downfall in the movie is very tiresome.