Movie Review: Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby
The movie we saw was "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby". It's one of those cheerfully asinine comedies that had tears of laughter streaming down my face during some of the scenes. The movie is a goof on NASCAR with Will Ferrell playing Ricky Bobby, a dim-wit who grows up following the edict his absentee father once told him - "If you ain't first, you're last."
I may live in Texas now, but I still don't really get the excitement of NASCAR. Everyone babbles on about skill, drafting, knowing fuel mileage, knowing when to pit, and who to bump out of the way on the last lap, but in the end you're still just driving fast in an oval.
Whatever floats your boat though...I'd rather be laughing...
Ricky Bobby is a boy who is literally born for the sport, his mother gives birth to him in the backseat of a speeding car. Ricky grows up nursing one thought -''I wanna go fast''!
He is working as a pit crewman when his team's driver decides to quit giving Ricky the chance to becomes a NASCAR superstar. Fame does not improve Ricky's intelligence, he marries a trashy driver groupie and they have two sons which they name Walker and Texas Ranger, in tribute to the old Chuck Norris television show.
There is a hilarious scene where Ricky and family are enjoying a family meal, which he mentions has been sponsored by PowerAde, then as he is blessing the food, an argument breaks out over which version of Jesus is better to pray to.
Not much later, there is another at a bar where Ricky and his red-blooded American friends country-loving good time is ruined by the jazz an accented stranger plays on the jukebox.
The stranger's name is Jean Girard, a gay, French, Formula One racer who has just been hired by the same family that owns Ricky's team.
A heated race leaves Ricky's car a wreck and him in the hospital. Suffering from shock, Ricky is certain he's paralyzed and has to be convinced otherwise by his friends, but the accident has taken its toll. Ricky is a shadow of his former self, afraid to break speeds above thirty miles per hour. Unable to keep his shallow marriage intact his wife leaves him for his equally dim-witted teammate and best friend, proclaiming "I am a driver's wife. I DO NOT WORK"!
Ricky is forced to take his sons and bunk up with his mother while he reevaluates his lot in life. He reunites with the Father who abandoned him and in his unique way his Father retrains Ricky to be the driver that he really is. With this help he is able to take on his rival again in a race to end all races and show that there is more to life than coming in first.
If you are a NASCAR fan then you might enjoy this movie. I heard that unlike "Days of Thunder", the 1990 Tom Cruise movie that was panned by NASCAR fans who found it stereotypical and unrealistic, Talladega Nights took pains to avoid that. The way the cars look, the way the cars handle, all of that is quite authentic. Also the racing action and the wrecking look realistic.
Obviosuly if you like Will Ferrell's type of humor, as I do, then this movie is for you. It's very clever, but absurd humor. It pokes fun at NASCAR, but not in a mean spirited way at all. It's just plain fun! Some new jokes, some old ones, but on the whole I can't help but recommend it.
I give this movie: Three And A Half Out Of Five Dale Earnhardt Jrs!