out of Five
Running time: 108
Hugely enjoyable, frequently hilarious comedy with superb comic performances from the entire cast.
What's it all about?
As a child Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) had always wanted to go fast, so it's no surprise that he grows up to be one of NASCAR's biggest stars, supported by his dim-witted best friend Cal (John C. Reilly) and his smokin' hot wife Carley (Leslie Bibb). However, Ricky faces increasing competition from poncy Frenchman Jean Girard (Sacha Baron Cohen).
After a nasty crash, Ricky has a nervous breakdown and loses everything, forcing him to move back in with his mother (Jane Lynch) and reconnect with his estranged speed-freak father (Gary Cole) in an attempt to get back on track.
Anchorman director Adam McKay has assembled a terrific cast and his hilarious script (co-written with Ferrell) ensures that each of the characters has their own funny moment. In a similar vein, Ferrell gives an extremely generous performance, allowing those around him to get much bigger laughs, particularly Gary Cole, who steals every scene as Reese Bobby.
Other standouts include Amy Adams (as Ricky's barely-noticed assistant, who has an unforgettable rousing speech scene) and Sacha Baron Cohen, who's hysterically funny as Ricky's outrageously accented rival (Ah'm coming for you, Reekie Booby).
Gag for gag, this is a lot funnier than Anchorman. McKay and Ferrell pack the film with hilarious sight gags (such as Reese teaching Ricky to drive with a cougar in the car for concentration) and there are several quotable lines.
In addition, there are some delightfully offbeat moments (including a bizarre post-credits joke) and some absurdly brilliant gags, such as the fact that Ricky and Carley name their sons Walker and Texas Ranger (If we'd wanted wusses, we'd have named them Dr Quinn and Medicine Woman).
In short, this is one of the funniest films of the year, which you’ll love even if you've never found Ferrell funny before. Highly recommended.
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