Combustible Celluloid
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With: Will Ferrell, Amy Adams, John C. Reilly, Sacha Baron Cohen, Gary Cole, Leslie Bibb, Michael Clarke Duncan, Andy Richter, David Koechner, Molly Shannon, Pat Hingle, Jane Lynch, Greg Germann, Jack McBrayer, Elvis Costello, Mos Def, Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Written by: Will Ferrell, Adam McKay
Directed by: Adam McKay
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, language, drug references and brief comic violence
Running Time: 105
Date: 07/26/2006

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)

3 Stars (out of 4)


By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Will Ferrell once again channels his inner child playing the thick, cowboy-like title character in this sharp-witted racing comedy. Ferrell and the writer/director Adam McKay (Anchorman) crafted their screenplay like a collection of one-liners from outer space; bizarre asides, comments and insults get us to laugh with their suddenness as well as their uniqueness. Playing Ricky's French, gay rival, Sacha Baron Cohen perfectly matches -- and clashes -- with Ferrell's intensity. Even the racing scenes play efficiently and with a minimum of bombast. Three Oscar nominees (John C. Reilly, Michael Clarke Duncan and Amy Adams) give the production a heft, and only a few fringe actors (Molly Shannon, Jack McBrayer) aim too broadly. Among many product placements and star cameos, Pat Hingle briefly appears.

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