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Film / Get Hard

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Get Hard is a 2015 American buddy comedy film directed by Etan Cohen (in his directorial debut) and written by Cohen, Jay Martel and Ian Roberts.

James King (played by Will Ferrell), a wealthy hedge fund manager, is engaged to Alissa (Alison Brie), and lives life as a rich millionaire. But he finds his whole life on the verge of collapse when he is accused of embezzling his company's funds. With only 30 days to get his affairs in order before he serves his ten year sentence, he turns to Darnell Lewis (Kevin Hart) to teach him how to be tough enough to survive prison; he needs to get hard. Hilarity Ensues

This movie provides examples of:

  • Amoral Attorney: Martin's lawyer is in on the scheme to frame James.
  • Amusing Injuries: James getting a shiv stuck in his head during the practice riot scene is playing for laughs.
  • Ass Shove: "Keistering", as a means of hiding contraband.
  • Big Bad: Martin, James' boss, turns out to be the real criminal.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Darnell saving James from the white supremacists.
  • Big Fancy House: James already lives in one but his wife wants one that's even bigger.
  • Calling Your Attacks: James during the yacht fight.
  • Character Development: By the end, James is no longer a coward and is able to deal with dangerous things in his way.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Capoeria, and Jame's ankle bracelet both come in handy during the final showdown.
    • In his first scene, Martin mentions his original computer, which he still has. Later on, it turns out that it holds the evidence exonerating James.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Keistering.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: James' "trash talk".
    James: I'm gonna punch you in the fuck! I'm gonna make you my bitch's bitch! You're gonna be my grand-bitch! Yeah. You're about to 20 likes on Instafuck. If I see you around here again, I'm gonna put a hashtag on your ass. And see how many hits it gets.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Despite having his butt handed to him by the thugs at the school playground, James has no problem beating down nearly 12 men in the climax.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Darnell tries to use Gayle's gun against him but doesn't bother to check the safety, which was off. Gayle promptly punches him and gets away with the evidence.
    • James holds out his unlicensed gun in plain sight, predictably getting himself arrested.
  • Ditzy Genius: James is a whiz when it comes to investing and business, but he's completely naive outside of those areas. After Darnell immediately figures out Martin was the one responsible for the crime and where the evidence to prove it is, he tells James he's "the dumbest genius" he's ever met.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Male on Male: The likelihood of James getting raped in prison is treated as a punchline in the film.
  • Gold Digger: Alissa.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: Played with. James is genuinely surprised that Martin was the one who stole the assets and framed him for it. When Martin claims that he did so because he "had no choice", however, James is not convinced:
    James: That sounds like a choice.
  • Hypocritical Humor: James chides Darnell on asking for a loan of $30,000 from him but compliments Martin on "doing it on his own" when Martin's father gave him an 8 million dollar loan to start his company.
  • Innocently Insensitive: James doesn't seem to realize just how casually racist he is.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Alison Brie in lingerie accounts for most of her screen time.
  • Nice Guy: James. Despite his faults, he is rather mild-mannered, courteous, and generous.
  • Noble Bigot: James, although it seems to be based more on class than race.
  • N-Word Privileges: Darnell insists that James say the n-word, then when James refuses, gets him to say "knee" and "grrr" quickly. He still hits him in the face claiming it was an automatic reaction.
  • Obvious Judas: In-Universe. Darnell immediately figures out Martin is the one who framed James because he was the only one involved with the firm's clearing house. He can't believe James didn't realize it himself.
  • Scary Black Man:
    • Subverted with Darnell, despite how much he tries to pretend otherwise.
    • His cousin Russel and his gang, however, are closer to playing this straight, though they're pretty friendly with James.
  • Shout-Out: Darnell uses the plot of Boyz n the Hood when he has to make up a criminal backstory for himself.
  • Took a Level in Badass: James goes from an Extreme Doormat to effortlessly beating down Martin's men in the climax.
  • Villain Reveals the Secret: Specifically, one of Martin's henchmen tells James that Darnell has actually never been in prison and actually has the cleanest record he's ever seen.
  • White Bread and Black Brotha: Played With. James is white, wealthy, and cowardly, while Darnell is black and working-class. However, Darnell's whole streetwise gangster persona is just an act.
  • Wrongful Accusation Insurance: Subverted. While James eventually exonerates himself, he is arrested and imprisoned for pulling an unlicensed concealed weapon in the course of exposing the people who set him up. Considering that he also commits trespassing and kidnapping, though, his six-month sentence is rather light.