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film review

Riding that fine line between misjudged and deliberately anti-p.c., Get Hard is lewd, crude and rude but, despite its disastrous reception at SxSW, not entirely unfunny.

Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart star in this updated version of the Eddie Murphy-Dan Ackroyd comedy Trading Places, but with more prison rape and fellatio jokes. Ferrell plays clueless hedge-fund investor, James King, with his manipulative fiancé (Alison Brie). When James gets wrongfully charged with 76 counts of fraud, he hires the only black guy he knows, Darnell (Hart) from his company's luxury car-wash service to prepare him for jail.

Darnell, a family man and small business-owner, accepts the job. (When his wife asks why James assumed he was an ex-con, Darnell explains "I was being black.") Darnell takes on the role of bullying drill sergeant, as the two men bond over their gay panic and fear of Nazis. First-time director Etan Cohen misses more than he hits, though Ferrell's latest version of a George W.-like privileged dufus ("I'm attending San Quentin") still hasn't got old.(14A)

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