When a wealthy bank manager is wrongfully convicted of fraud and sentenced to do hard time in San Quentin, he quickly realizes he must learn how to survive. He hires a black man who details his car to teach him the ropes, thinking because the man is black, surely statistically, he has racked up some jail time. The inexperienced fellow he hires has absolutely NO idea how to survive in jail but the money offered would be a big help towards a down payment for their new house.
This is the perfect setup for a silly pairing of two highly successful comic actors which pays off under the direction of Etan Cohen (writer for "Men in Black 3"). The tagline is "Sometimes you need a hand to get hard," so you can see right away that this is definitely R-rated!
- * Kevin Hart ("Ride Along") is currently Hollywood's Flavor-of-the-Year, appearing in seven films in 2014 alone! His character here, Darnell Lewis, is typical Kevin Hart: a fast-talking, clueless little con man, making it up as he goes along but intimidated by his wife at home.
- * Edwina Findley Dickerson ("Treme") Rita does not want her law-abiding husband to pretend he's a felon.
- * Will Ferrell ("Casa de mi Padre") James King is scared witless of prison. This racially tone-deaf fellow is looking for survival techniques and is willing to pay for them! Of course this is Will Ferrell, so expect lots of nudity and raunch.
- * Craig T. Nelson ("Parenthood") Martin is the boss, using all his clout to exonerate our hero. He is also his soon-to-be father-in-law.
- * Alison Brie ("The Lego Movie") Sexy fiancée Alissa knows what she wants: James; wealth; a newer, bigger house; and a happy daddy.
- * T.I. ("Identity Thief") Russell is top dog in his band of brothas. James wants him to provide protection while he is in prison.
- * Singer John Mayer makes a surprise appearance as himself; he shows us that he'd better not quit his day job.
This is nothing more than the silly stuff we have come to expect from both Hart and Ferrell, with punch lines repeated so many times they become tiresome. We became immune to the "F" bombs very early into the movie but laughed at some of the goofy plot twists. The screening audience exited with big smiles on their faces, so it's clear that "silly" can be entertaining.