“Get Hard” is a 2015 American comedy film that stars Will Ferrell, Alison Brie, Kevin Hart, Craig T. Nelson, and Edwina Findley among others. Although the movie opened in March to negative reviews, the movie was also a financial success in its own terms having already grossed more than $91 million from a $40 million budget. The film was written by Ian Roberts, Jay Martel, and Etan Cohen who also happens to be the film’s director in his debut as a director. This comedy film’s main theme is that of power struggles experienced by the actors mainly portrayed in the form of racism, class, and gender.
In the opening seen we find James King (Will Ferrell) the main protagonist crying frantically before taking us back to one month earlier. Here we find that King was a white successful hedge and stocks manager engaged to be married to Alissa (Alison Brie), a gorgeous gold-digger. On the other and we find Kings black car washer Darnell Lewis (Kevin Hart) who is married to Rita (Edwina Findley) who are struggling to put Makayla, their daughter into a better school away from their current crime-laden neighborhood.
In the first scene where King and Lewis meet we realize the effect of racism as King a rich white meets Lewis a black in the parking lot. King is afraid because he thinks Lewis wants to rob him. In the ensuing conversation we realize that class also matters as King brags about how rich he is and removes a wad of notes but gives Lewis only two singles as a tip but after asking him to look for his success. Thus, in the early stages of the movie we realize how power struggles based on race and class will be evident in the film.
From the early beginning, it is clear that although the film does entertain the audience, it brings out the power struggles that exist between people of different gender, race and social class. Each one of the actors wants to portray their strength in their own personal ways. On the second scene we find Alissa who happens to be the daughter of Kings Boss, Martin (Craig T. Nelson), throwing an expensive party for her boyfriend King. During this party, Alissa gives an electric guitar to King as a gift and also hires Jon Mayer to perform at the party. Unfortunately, the party is interrupted by the police who come to arrest King for embezzlement and fraud.
The different film chapters show how creative people have used film to give us experiences that we value. We will examine the principles and techniques that give this film its power to tell stories, express emotions, and trigger ideas while at the same time keeping us entertained. The characters and actions of the people in the film also play an important role in helping us to understand the key power struggle concepts in the film. For instance we see that after King is arrested his lawyer asks him to enter a guilty plea which he refuses. The judge later finds him guilty gives a ten year sentence and gives King 30 days to clean up his accounts. When he tries to escape with Alissa to another country Alissa refuses telling him them the engagement is off. King is later arrested and asks Alissa and her dad for help. Realizing that no help is forthcoming, King decides to ask Lewis for help on how to survive in prison because King assumes that Lewis must have been to prison just because he is a black. Such stereotyping is one way through which we see differences in class and race as portrayed by the director through the actors.
Unfortunately, Lewis has never been to prison but because e urgently needs money to take his daughter to a better school he demands a $30,000 payment if he has to teach King how to survive in prison. This demand for money also depicts a scenario where the whites belong to a superior class than the blacks. Before Lewis can start to pretend that he can toughen up King, he himself gets smacked by Rita after calling her a bitch. This part clearly shows the gender struggles that exist between the faces. Among the blacks it appears that the power of money is not as important as physical strength, this is why Rita can afford to stay with Lewis, while Alissa cannot stay with King after it appears that he is losing his wealth-source of power.
On the start of the training Lewis pepper-sprays King on arrival at his home and tries to make King to mimic his “mad dog face” but King’s best try is only a comical “sad dog face.” When this fails Lewis tries to make King to defend himself at the parking lot by creating scenarios that put King in danger and he has to defend himself but the only success they get is King being beaten up countless times. When King contacts his boss martin to tell him he is getting help, martin who is the actual culprit sends his lawyer and a hired gun to finish him off so that he does not rat him off because he thinks King has discovered the truth.
Lewis makes King learn how to perform oral sex because he will eventually end up as some inmates “bitch” while in prison. This makes the film more comical as King starts to train how to perform oral sex. This is another depiction of the problems that most blacks have to face because they are the ones constantly imprisoned.
A few days before his incarceration, Lewis asks his cousin Russell (T.I), who is the leader of a local black gang-the Crenshaw Kings to recruit King into the gang so that they can protect him in prison. In order to see whether King can act as a real racist, Lewis drives King to a local bar where the Allegiance of Whites gang is located. Unfortunately, King fails to act as a real racist and he is almost killed. This use of gangs for protection and the separation of gangs into black and whites is another portrayal of the power struggles of race, class and gender.
One thing that is clear in the movie is the fact that although the cast belongs to different cultural backgrounds they all seems to fit in well with people from other cultures as is portrayed in the movie by the director although racial and class boundaries are clearly visible.
Regardless of the power struggles that exist between the actors from different classes, races, and gender, it is clear that only the wisest of them win. Thus, we see that at the end Darnell and King unmask Martin, Kings Boss as the real mastermind of the fraud and embezzlement. Thus, in summary we can say that regardless of the fact that there exist power struggles between people from different cultural, racial, or class settings, it is a single person’s hard work and determination that can really determine who ends up victorious. In this case Lewis and King become friends and King actually offers Lewis money to expand his business although at the beginning none liked the other