TALLADEGA NIGHTS: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby is good for a fair number of dumbo laughs, best watched with some friends, some brews and something in the bong. An audience grabber, it earned $163,000,000 when it lapped through theaters in 2006. Even if you’re not fond of Will Ferrell (he seems to rub a lot of people the wrong way), there are others in the cast who amuse with a basically good-natured clutch of absurdist gags arranged over its 108 minutes. It even makes the car races bearable (my rapture over auto-racing is like my trust in politicians).
Affectionately spoofing the whole NASCAR whatever-it-is, written by Farrell & Adam Mckay, with McKay directing, the story chronicles the rise, fall and re-rise of Ricky Bobby, legend and moron. Reviews tended to positive: it’s too inoffensive to get mad at. Like most of these pack-in-the-one-liners farces, it wears thin by the end and runs low on fuel. Time for another hit.
Doing what is called for are John C. Reilly, Sacha Baron Cohen, Gary Cole (totally nailing redneckdom), Leslie Bibb (totally nailed), Michael Clarke Duncan, Jane Lynch and Amy Adams. Houston Tumlin & Grayson Russell play the Bobby Boys, ‘Walker’ and ‘Texas Ranger’.
Produced for $72,500,000. Also in the cast: Andy Richter, director McKay,David Koechner, Pat Hingle (his last role), Gregg Germann, Molly Shannon, Rob Riggle. Assorted personalities from the world of racing appear—drivers, announcers.