Film Review: Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Posted in Reviews on September, 24 2006 4:09 PM

Starring: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Gary Cole, Michael Clarke Duncan
Cert: 12A
Released: 15th September 2006

Ricky Bobby (Ferrell) was the accidental child of a fast-living cowboy (Cole) so it stood to reason that he would grow up with a need for speed.

With his father's life ethos ringing in his ears - 'If you're not first, you're last' - he becomes the World's greatest racer on the NASCAR circuit.

A fast driver but slow in the brain department.

A crash and race loss destroys his confidence and sends his life spiralling out of control. Only his vagrant father claims to be able to restore Ricky's ambition and desire to win.


I think it's fair to say that Ferrell is not a particularly diverse comedian but he is consistent at what he does.

Think of Talladega Nights as Anchorman but with fast cars. The character of Ricky Bobby is just as brainless and offensive as Ron Burgandy but the elevation of fame and ability excuses it.

Primarily a pastiche of NASCAR so if, like me, you know nothing about it, there are probably a few 'in' references that I completely missed.

Gary Cole and Ricky's two sons are the best things about this film; Cole as the completely unrepenting and unsalvageable father and the boys as obnoxious, mouthy louts.

The real saving grace is the photography of the races. It's as good as any Bruckheimer actioner but always flavoured with Ferrell's irreverant style.

A decent enough comedy if you like Ferrell's sense of humour.

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