Talladega Nights gets green flag for matinee

Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby, starring Will Ferrell, will not go down in history as a great sports movie. It probably won’t even make most film critics’ top 25 in that category. But I must admit, it is pretty darn funny in some parts.

I saw the film two Sunday afternoons ago with some family members. I wanted to see this movie because of all the pre-release hype. I admit, I was a victim of slick Hollywood marketing. I had seen the previews prior to another movie, and I couldn’t escape the numerous commercials on television. When my brother suggested we go see it, I figured, what the heck? Besides that, it was a matinee, and the ticket price was cheaper.

The film covers the life story of imaginary Nextel Cup driver Ricky Bobby. It chronicles his rise and fall, and eventual climb back to the top, in the world of big-time professional auto racing.

The movie is centered on Ferrell’s usual amount of obnoxiously loud sophomoric humor. Although unlike his character Ron Burgundy in Anchorman, this time it actually is funny. I think it is mainly due to the fact that his character is a parody of the image many people still have about racecar drivers. He is from the South; he loves America, Jesus, his best friend and his family. His only skill is driving a car fast. The film does an excellent job exaggerating those stereotypical qualities that have been fairly, or unfairly, associated with NASCAR drivers. It also features a few cameos from people most race fans will recognize immediately.

It isn’t a movie I recommend racing out to see, but if your brother calls, and it’s a matinee, then it definitely gets the green flag.

Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.

From the Aug. 16-22, 2006, issue

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