Talladega Nights ***1/2


Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly in "Talladega Nights"

Who can stop Will Ferrell?  This is a man whose comic genius I very much appreciate.  I think I have mentioned that in every review that I write for a movie starring Will Ferrell but you know what, it does not get old.   Here he plays a Nascar driver named Ricky Bobby. 

I think it goes without saying that his Ricky Bobby character is quite cocky.  He likes to remind his racing team that they are number two for a reason, he never fails to insult the competition and even his conduct with the owners is just ridiculous.  Will Ferrell is born for this role and he chews up the scenery all the way through.  But you know what I love about the characters that he plays?  They never get bogged down.  They never apologize for their ridiculousness. They just adapt and move on.

To describe the plot would simply waste your time I believe.  Is the film funny?  Very much so.  How does it rank on Ferrell’s resume?  I think it is up there with “Old School”, and “Anchorman”.  Whether it is duelling with a cougar, running around in his underpants, believing he is paralyzed or saying grace over a feast of Taco Bell, this man can do it all and I laughed all the way through. 

What I recommend is that all you Will Ferrell fans go out and rent “Winter Passing”.  It was a quiet yet powerful drama that was released earlier this year.  Ferrell gave a muted yet very underrated performance that might give you a better respect for what he does.  For me he shows real range when he can go from totally over the top, to dealing with emotions that are bottled up inside.


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