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Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
Movie Stats & Links

Starring: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Sacha Baron Cohen, Leslie Bibb, Amy Adams
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Columbia Pictures
Web Site:
Kiddie Movie: It's got sex talk and some naughty words, so keeps the younger ones at home.
Date Movie: If she can chuckle at dumb lines that don't make any sense.
Gratuitous Sex: Lots of boner talk and sexy outfits.
Gratuitous Violence: Some fighting.
Action: Racing and crashes.
Laughs: Lots of chuckles.
Memorable Scene: Ricky Bobby stabbing himself in the leg and the comedy that follows.
Memorable Quote: There's lot of one-liners, but towards the end, Ricky goes to Cal, "She's like a tractor-beam of hotness."
Directed By: Adam McKay
Produced By: Judd Apatow, Jimmy Miller

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
A Movie Review

MPAA Rated - PG-13

It's 1:50 Long

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
Iím not really sure how to open this movie review for "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby." I guess Iíll just say that I have a new actress to stalk, and itís not Leslie Bibb. Letís just get to the story first, and weíll go from thereÖ

For this movie weíve got Will Ferrell playing Ricky Bobby. All of his life he has wanted to go fast and wanted to be first, thanks to a quote from his dad, "If you ain't first, youíre last," and finally, during a NASCAR race where he is a member of the pit-crew, the driver bails on the team so Ricky Bobby gets in the driverís seat. Turns out Rickyís dumb as a box of rocks, but he sure can drive. Next thing you know Ricky is the king of NASCAR, gets the hot, blonde wife, Carley (Leslie Bibb), has two of the worst mannered kids in the world, and his best friend Cal (John C. Reilly) sticks with him, even though Ricky never shares the winning ways to Cal. But Ricky isnít loved by the team owner, Larry (Greg Germann), and Larry brings in Jean Girard (Sacha Baron Cohen) to crush Ricky. Jean is French, gay, and everything NASCAR isnít, but of course, when he starts winning, no one cares.

In any case, Ricky has a really bad race where he is in the horriblist of horrible crashes (except for the even more horriblist of crashes to come later in the film), and his mind isnít right. He loses his woman, loses the ability to drive, thinks he loses his ability to walk, and ends up delivering pizza on a bicycle. So itís up to his wayward, drunk, father to get Ricky back in the driverís seat, get past the fear, and get him racing again, and Dad almost does the trick, but in the end itís a good woman who sets Ricky straight, right back to Talladega Superspeedway where Ricky and Jean will face off one more time. Does Ricky win the race? Will Jean get to kiss Ricky? Does Carley stay hot? Can Grandma make nice boys out of Rickyís kids?

All of these questions are answered, but really, that doesnít matter because what does matter is if the movie is as funny as the trailer showed it to be, and I have to say "Almost."

Hereís the thing Ė I did find myself chuckling during a lot of the movie, with a few out-and-out laughs, but "Ricky Bobby" also had moments where I just thought the jokes were dragging on too long. My case in point for the dragging, at least for me, was the dinner scene, with Ricky saying "Grace" to the little baby Jesus. It started funny, but then seemed to carry-on about three tries too many at jokes that weren't working anymore.

Will Ferrell was his predictably funny self, but it almost seems the film folks think that his "running around and screaming" bit can carry an entire movie, and sadly, they beat it into the ground. Sacha Baron Cohen was great as the French, gay dude, out to beat Ricky, and yet out to see if Ricky can beat him. But bizarre in the movie was Molly Shannon as Larryís perpetually drunk wife.

So I suppose I will say that I did like "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," but not as much as I thought I would. I will also say this, that I can easily see this movie becoming one of my "when I come across it on cable Iíll have to watch it" films. Thereís enough good-hearted dumbness in the movie that I know I wonít be able to turn away. And in terms of product placement, no one has learned that lesson better than the folks at NASCAR, and the movie keeps up that reputation, even inserting a blatant "commercial" for Powerade as Ricky is saying "Grace." That moment was classic.

Had either Leslie Bibb or the new actress I must stalk, Amy Adams (she plays Rickyís assistant, Susan), gotten naked, or they had gone for an R-rating for the movie, I think I would have instantly liked the movie more, but for now, itís 2.5 stars out of 5. Future viewings may change my thinking about my rating, but for now, Iím sticking with it.

Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!


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