(Review originally written at 14 April 2008)

I like a good dumb simple comedy from time to time but I don't really see this as a good and fun enough movie to watch over and over again.

First of all I really like Will Ferrell as a comedian actor. Unfortunately his movies are often of questionable quality and the reason these type of movies still remain watchable is thanks to the very presence of Will Ferrell and often lots of other fine comedy actors, such as also is the case with this movie.

This is just not the greatest made comedy. Of course the movie its story is rather weak and simple but the movie makes the mistake that in its middle part mainly focuses on the more personal and emotional aspect of the character Ricky Bobby. almost as if it starts to take itself too serious, even though the movie keeps its silly comedy style all over it all of the time. If you cut the first part of the movie and you glue it back together with the last part of the movie you'll have one movie and if you cut out the middle part of the movie and release it on its own you'll have a whole other movie. Some characters suddenly disappear in the middle and then suddenly pop up again for the last part of the movie. This is the case with the Sacha Baron Cohen character, who is the main 'villain' and Michael Clarke Duncan.

It remains a technically well made movie though. Also the races themselves are good looking and well captured on camera and brought to the screen. I like this new sort of comedies that are being made this decade. It often are movies with both hits and misses but throughly know to remain perfectly fun and watchable, mostly because of their overall silliness.

Of course "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" is also a silly movie. I mean, just look at the title. It's mostly a movie that will amuse you but not really one that will make you laugh out loud all the time. Also the story and mostly the storytelling prevent this movie from being a true successful comedy.

Thank goodness for the cast, that makes up so much and are the main reason why this movie remains so very amusing to watch. Will Ferrell is good as always, as you would expect and really in his element again, this time as a NASCAR driver. He forms he good comical duo within this movie with John C. Reilly, who had his share of serious roles but seems to feel most at ease within comedies these days. The movie also has some truly great supporting actors such as Gary Cole, Michael Clarke Duncan and Amy Adams among others. Sacha Baron Cohen shows up as the movie its main villain, a French Formula 1 driver who has turned over to NASCAR and becomes Ricky Bobby greatest new sport competitor. Baron Cohen with this movie, perhaps for the very first time, shows that he can really act and he is a great comical talent and he is not just good for playing his characters Ali G, BrĂ¼no, and Borat. No wonder that he is a much wanted actor these days and not just only for comedy roles.

Yes it's a watchable amusing movie for on a rainy afternoon when you have nothing else to do. But it's not really a movie I would be anxious about watching again any time soon.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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