This week Cinema Blend Head Honcho Josh Tyler, with a heavy heart, gave a paltry two star rating to Will Ferrell’s new movie Semi-Pro. A long time fan of the SNL alumnus, Josh spent a lot of time making apologies for Will Ferrell and blaming everyone else for its failings.
Well I’m here to call Mr Ferrell out. I’m here to say what nobody else wants to hear. I’m here to tell you the movie’s suckiness is his fault and everyone else is finally waking up to something I’ve thought all along: Will Ferrell isn’t that funny.
Or to be more specific, Will Ferrell is for the most part a one trick pony. He seems to create a bunch of stock characters based on the same base level of humor and beats the audience over the head with their eccentricities and stupid fratboy/non-sequitor humor until they are either somehow brainwashed in to being convinced that these one-joke concoctions are genius, or like myself get bored and yearn for something more. Of course by adopting a different accent and silly wig each time the audience will never suspect it’s the same old crap with a different name.
Lets examine his recent resume in one sentence summations;
Will Ferrell in comedy afro plays a dumb basketball player.
Blades of Glory
Will Ferrell in comedy spandex plays a dumb prissy iceskater.
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
Will Ferrell in comedy sideburns plays a dumb redneck stereotype.
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
Will Ferrell in comedy mustache plays a dumb sexist TV anchor sterotype
Kicking and Screaming
Will Ferrell in comedy sweatsuit plays a dumb kids coach stereotype
In his next movie Step Brothers, he re-teams with the director of Anchorman, dons comedy sweater-vests and launches in a stereotypical tale of half-sibling rivalry with new frat-pack alumni John C. Reilly. Only, it’s like with middle-aged men acting like kids, so it must be hilarious.
I may be coming across as a humourless prick, but I love stupid as much as the next guy. I’ve even chuckled at Will Ferrell. Anchorman has at least a laugh or two. But too often Ferrell’s movies seem to rely, in fact border on, reveling in their stupidity. I often wonder if Will Ferrell’s movies aren’t just made for the sake of the cast and crew who probably had far more fun making the movie than anyone ever will watching it. Spend three months dorking around in a silly outfit and getting paid for it, you could count me in too! But the fact is, taking your audience in to consideration, if you want to be stupid you either have to be working on a sketch show where the silliness doesn’t outstay its welcome (Ferrell’s SNL roots showing) or have some form of utterly scathing satirical message layered under your juvenile sight gags. The Monty Python team understood this and that is why they are still the benchmark of ridiculous and non-sequitor humor nearly 25 years after their retirement.
So even though Will Ferrell might get a laugh or two, I’ve never quite understood see why my buddy on the other couch is laughing his ass off at a dog talking to bears about their ancestry just because it’s random and gets the plot out of a corner and thus must be funny. The talking dog in Road Trip was funny because the old guy was stoned off his tits. A dog talking to bears just because the writers decided it should be so, is idiotic.
Do us all a favour Will, start looking toward more dramatic roles like Stranger than Fiction, before whatever faltering good favour you have left finishes evaporating and nobody wants to see your face again. Don’t become the next Chevy Chase, have some pride man! No more excuses. We’re tired of paying you to goof off on the set of dumb movies.