TALLADEGA NIGHTS: THE BALLAD OF RICKY BOBBY
A VERY HESITANT THUMBS UP FILM REVIEW RATING!
Trying to review and rate a movie like this is tougher than most might think. There are those Will Ferrell fans out there that’ll eat up TALLADEGA NIGHTS: THE BALLAD OF RICKY BOBBY. Then there are those that’ll snub it as another foolish not-ready-for-prime-time-style spoof designed to engage our dumbed-down society. But there is a third reason someone might enjoy this rather ridiculous film.
Hopefully there are those movie goers out there that enjoy watching parodies of various lifestyles, and this is where Talladega Nights gets most of — if not all of — its comedic punch. That we witness a southern Nascar driver with all of his conservative leanings hanging out for everyone to see was absolutely hysterical. Ricky Bobby’s (Will Ferrell) big house, multiple gas guzzling cars (Hummers, etc.), a wife who’s gauged on breast quality, and two kids named after a horrible action series ("These are my kids, Walker and Texas Ranger") are all over-exaggerations on conservative values; you wouldn’t dare see one of them driving a hybrid car, for instance.
The entrance of a homosexual Frenchman named Jean Girard (Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat) adds an additional element in the American prejudice category, Ricky Bobby bashing Girard’s foreign heritage while making a fool of Americans’ naivete ("America gave the world Chinese food!")
The challenge of Ricky Bobby to overcome his fear of driving after a horrendous crash is only minimalist humor added to the film. It is, at its core, a spoof on modern southern lifestyle and conservatism, and that is what makes the movie work.