Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

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Days of Thunder + Will Ferrell= Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Aug 9, 2006 (Updated Aug 9, 2006)
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Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Bang For The Buck

Pros:Of course, Will Ferrell is the reason to see this movie

Cons:Humor could be offensive to some

The Bottom Line: One of Will Ferrell's better movie's- a perfect role for him: a NASCAR driver...


I couldn’t help but snicker at the previews and luckily I had my husband as an excuse to go see Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. The last few Will Ferrell movies that I have seen have not been as good as some of my favorite Saturday Night Live sketches of Ferrell’s in the years past. But no matter what, I know he is going to give me a good laugh, and that’s worth the price of a matinee film to me.

If you have gone to the movies at all this summer, you have probably seen cutouts of Will Ferrell wearing a Wonder Bread racing suit. Even the serious look on his face in the promo posters had me smile. It’s hard to ignore a highly publicized movie, especially in the summer when the air conditioned theatres beckoned, and even here, I had to give in to that call.

The Ballad of Ricky Bobby is about a race car driver who is as redneck as you can get- the ups and downs of his life are chronicled in this movie and the laughs are just as up and down (belly shaking, that is). Born in a mock stock car driven by his amateur race car driver father, Ricky Bobby just “wants to go fast”. His entire life is spent trying to emulate his father and heed his advice that “if you’re not first, you’re last”. Winning is everything to Ricky Bobby, who wants nothing more than to earn respect and love from his ever absent (and loser) father. But don’t feel too sorry for Ricky Bobby just yet.

He’s married to a beautiful hood ornament-type woman and has two children, Walker and Texas Ranger (T.R. for short…) and has an ever faithful best friend, Cal (played by the fantastic John C. Reilly). Cal is always standing right behind Ricky and is instrumental in helping propel Ricky Bobby to winning fame. Then things take a turn for the worse after a devastating accident leaves Ricky a scared and broken man, leaving the winning up to his rival, a gay French Formula 1 racer.

Ok, so this all sounds like a kind of lame and boring plot. And it would be, if it were not for a hilarious screenplay and a fantastic cast. Just looking at Will Ferrell makes me laugh, with his ability to play a ridiculous character with such seriousness. There were a couple of times when the movie seemed to drag and the humor just didn’t make me laugh like it should have, but overall, it was a pretty good Will Ferrell movie. He pushes the envelope and is not afraid to alienate himself from a pretty large group of people- those from the South and those who love NASCAR. I’m not a huge fan of NASCAR, so I’m not sure how much it would offend true fans, but just be warned, they aren’t holding anything back in Talladega Nights.

Rated PG-13, there is hardly a foul word and no nudity (although there are some sexual innuendos). There is definite reference to drug use and the overall theme is a bit mature (although I don’t know if mature and Will Ferrell should really be used in the same sentence). I would suggest parental supervision for this one, but don’t worry- there are enough laughs to keep the chaperones entertained as well.

If you enjoyed Ferrell on Saturday Night Live and really liked him in Old School, Elf and Wedding Crashers, you’ll be equally impressed with Tallageda Nights. Ferrell is more in his element with this movie than he seemed to be with Kicking and Screaming and Bewitched. This is worth the matinee price and a definite rental, and if you really like Will Ferrell, then it’s probably worth the $8 for a full priced admission as well.


Recommend this product? Yes


Movie Mood: Funny Movie

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