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Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby

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Judy Thorburn

Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby

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"TALLADEGA NIGHTS: THE BALLAD OF RICKY BOBBY" RACES DOWNHILL ALL THE WAY!

Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil

Here it is, up front and straight to the point. If you are an avid NASCAR racing fan you may very well like Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, because a great deal of the action takes place on the speedway. On the other hand, the film stars Will Ferrell and fans of his may not care one way or other as long as he is in it. Well, I am neither a racecar fan or nor do I get the appeal of the former Saturday Night Live cast member. I think he does a fine, rather humorous impression of our President, George W. Bush, but other than that I have yet to see what’s so special about this guy that’s made him hot at the box office. I don’t think Ferrell’s brand of humor is particularly funny and not one movie he has made so far has made me change my mind. In fact, I hated Anchorman and Elf. From where I stand, you can add Talladega Nights to his growing list of cinema crap, his second co-scripted collaboration with writer/director Adam McKay. Maybe one day he will do something to change my mind. Adam Sandler made me a fan after showing he has transcended from those stupid earlier comedy roles into a versatile actor. But as he stands now, Ferrell doesn’t do it for me.

In this latest piece of drivel, Will Ferrell plays a fictitious dimwitted racecar driver with two first names, Ricky Bobby who was born in the back of a speeding car and told by his dad Reese (underrated, Gary Cole) when he was only ten before being abandoned, “If you ain’t first, you’re last”. That’s all it took to forever fulfill the need for speed. As an adult, Ricky becomes a racing star at the top of his sport with all the perks including a hot blonde wife (Leslie Bibb), a best friend and team partner, Cal (John C. Reilly), an expensive house and plenty of commercial endorsements. But that can’t take away his red neck ways and stupidity. For Ricky the perfect family dinner consists entirely of fast food; Dominos Pizza, Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Coke and ways of saying grace that include ridiculous baby Jesus jokes. His two young sons, Walker and Texas Ranger are unruly, obnoxious, disrespectful and foul-mouthed, yet Ricky thinks he has raised them just fine.

Things take a turn when a traumatic wreck on the track puts Ricky out of the race, no longer number one, and he has to bounce back and make a comeback competing against an opening gay French Formula I driver, Jean Girard (Sacha Baron Cohen, best known for his Ali G persona) who enjoys humiliating him. If that isn’t bad enough, Ricky’s trophy wife Carly leaves him for his best friend Cal because she says “I am a driver’s wife and don’t work” and the only job he can get is delivering pizzas on a bike.

A reconciliation with his Dad who helps Ricky overcome his fears, Ricky’s mother’s (Jane Lynch) influence on his two rotten kids and a new love interest, Susan (a wasted, Amy Adams) all play into the loose plot, a sendup of the racing world filled with stereotypes and lots and lots of product placement. But don’t blink because you’ll miss a very quick cameo by racing superstar Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Also look out for Mos Def and Elvis Costello in one silly scene that falls flat.

As for the physical shenanigans, I don’t know about you, but watching flabby Ferrell running around in his underwear on the track because he thinks he is on fire, or stabbing himself in the knee to prove to his buddies that he is paralyzed when he isn’t, is not what I would call hilarious. Nor, for that matter is seeing a speeding car drive into a house.

All I can say is that Will Ferrell fans can expect more of his same old stuff. Personally, I’ve had my fill of immature, dumb, man/child goof offs, thank you. He’s been there, done that one too many times. Give me something else. His Ricky Bobby character is a racecar driver who only wants to be number one. I hate to be crude, but for me, he comes across as number two.
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