Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby Reviews
Though the movie about a moronic NASCAR racer overall is uneven and Ricky Bobby's saga lacks focus, the stupid-comical banter and the lampooning of this particular brand of car racing proves entertaining.
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby is the sort of cheerfully asinine comedy that twists your arm until you submit. So, to Will Ferrell -- clown, freak, bully -- I scream, 'Uncle!'
Talladega Nights is an unapologetic goof fest, light as aluminum and seemingly edited with Scotch tape. But it's smart enough to buy gags in bulk and puts them in the hands of three guys who can improvise until the cars come home.
Now and then, the movie allows you to relax into its brand of stupid-smart comedy. The rest of the time your shoulders scrunch up and ask the eternal question: Why is this routine not quite working?
The laugh quotient lags well behind Ferrell and McKay's Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, but unlike many other purveyors of hip comedy, they're consistently clever without being contemptuous of their audience.
The absurdly funny Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby is at once a glorious send-up of NASCAR culture and a goofy celebration of the redneck, red state, red-blooded American culture that spawned it.
Simultaneously teasing and loving a subject doesn't make for easy comedy, but writer-star Will Ferrell and director/co-writer Adam McKay pull it off with good-ol'-boy good nature in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.