It's ironic that as much junk as I talk about the event of NASCAR, two of the best movies I have now seen this year are centered around that "activity" (used in lieu of the word "sport"). Hollywood knows a good thing when they see it and since the fascination is getting bigger, why not capitalize on it? I ain't mad at them.
"Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" centers on Will Ferrell's character's quick ascension to the top, his fall and his inevitable rise again. Some have called it "Anchorman" at 200 miles an hour. I really don't think that's a fair comparison. This movie holds it own very well without comparison to another Will Ferrell vehicle.
I was afraid that before I saw this, I would have already seen the funniest parts in the trailers. Thankfully, I was wrong. As a matter of fact, even the funniest parts from the trailer are elaborated more in the movie which makes it even better to watch.
As if Ferrell wasn't already good enough, this one has several members of the supporting cast that helped to give it teeth. An always reliable Michael Clarke Duncan, proving once again he can do drama and comedy equally as good. John C. Reilly doing the same. And Gary Cole of "Office Space" fame nailing the part of Ricky Bobby's deadbeat dad. Oh, and don't even get me started on Ali G as the french racer Jean Girard.
I'm sold now that Will Ferrell can really do no wrong. Now I don't know if he'll ever make the turn and try to do dramatic flicks, but he's got to be the current king of the ad-lib right about now. There hasn't been a movie he's made yet that I haven't liked. And yes, I'm including "Kicking and Screaming" and especially "Bewitched". Even his cameos make movies better.
I still don't pretend to know all the nuances of NASCAR driving. Heck, I would have thought Talledega was a made-up event for this movie if I hadn't looked it up. However, there were scenes in this movie that proved even more how much technique is involved with it. I'm sure just like "Days of Thunder", it was pretty far-fetched for diehard NASCAR fans. I'm sure even moreso in this case since it was a comedy. It doesn't matter. This movie did it justice as far as I'm concerned and Will Ferrell is pure gold.
My rating: A-