Sports Comedies are hard to pin down, they’re not really the most popular genre in the world. Space Jam is by far the first and only film that would come to mind for most people when they think of the Sports Comedy genre. However, there are other films that can be found in the genre with a much cruder take on the humor of course. Films such as The Benchwarmers, White Men Can’t Jump, Dodgeball: An Underdog Story, and Fighting with my Family are all great examples of this. Although, the one thing that makes Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby stand out is the bizarre performance from Will Ferrell.
How to Stream or Download Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
You can stream it or you can download the film from a digital store. To do it – click on the Download button that is located below this review. If you like Will Ferrel, check him out also in Elf (2003).
The Movie Review
This is a Ballad for NASCAR Driver Ricky Bobby, a redneck with little to no respect for anyone in his life aside from his own self-image. It’s an absurdist take on the life of a NASCAR racer, as it follows Ricky through his daily life where he spends time with his family and constantly belittles his best friend Cal Naughton Jr and lives a splendid life being the number one NASCAR driver. However, it all changes when a Frenchman named Girard enters the scene and beats Ricky Bobby in his own race. Now, with his ego and image shattered, Ricky Bobby must start from the ground up if he wants to become number one again.
Adam McKay’s Talladega Nights is a simple film, it relies on three things in particular. The insane amount of absurdist comedy is the main showrunner here, the jokes are all absolutely whacky and over the top, while still keeping a semblance of realism to them.
The dialogue is the second most important thing here, it adds to the overall absurdity of this story as well as dramatizes the comedy, making it all funnier than it would be with just the slapstick. However, the third and most important component of this film by far is Will Ferrell, he singlehandedly carries this film on his shoulders.
The title of the film is The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, so they knew that they had to get someone incredibly good at their job to play this character. Will Ferrell was perhaps the best choice in this regard, as the Anchorman actor gives by far the best comedy performance of his career here. He’s so energetic, chaotic, and mind-numbingly neurotic as Ricky Bobby that you simply cannot take your eyes off of him. He’s witty, he’s snappy and his charisma is all over the screen.
The rest of the actors such as John C Reily, Sasha Baron Cohen, Michael Clarke Duncan, Amy Adams, Andy Richter, and Leslie Bibb are all absolutely fantastic too, but it’s Ferrell’s performance that truly elevates this film.
Artistically speaking, this isn’t the most poignant film you’ll find. It doesn’t feature an outstanding direction in terms of its framing and lighting. It’s a decent to bland design and looks pretty mediocre at first glance. It does not feature a distinct style in itself, unlike the more popular films in the absurdist genre such as Tropic Thunder and Zoolander. This is an issue with most of Adam McKay’s films, his content relies heavily on his actors and long dialogue sequences, whereas the visual side of filmmaking isn’t the most prominent at all.
The cinematography is truly awful here, somehow the director of photography here is the same person who did the cinematography for Face/Off and The Bourne Identity. Yet cinematographer Oliver Wood isn’t truly enabled here, perhaps due to the director’s focus being elsewhere during the film.
McKay makes sure that the faces and the actors’ bodies are the main focus of the frame instead of telling a story through the camera work. The soundtrack is also not very good to be honest, though it’s quite honestly very appropriate for a film like this.
In my honest opinion, I think this is one of the most truly enjoyable films from the mid-2000s. The actors are passionate, the dialogue is snappy and the story is one of absurd triumph and laughs. If nothing else, You can stream and watch this film as nothing but simple entertainment and it would still be a very effective motion picture all the same.
- A funny and hardcore comedy from a forgotten era.
- Extremely snappy humor.
- The actors have perfect comedic timing.
- Awful cinematography, the camera is always focused on the actors’ faces.
- Lacks personality unlike other absurdist films such as Zoolander.