Man, Will Ferrell is on the streak of his life! First Talladega Nights, then Blades of Glory, and now Semi-Pro. This sports trilogy he and Adam McKay perceived really came through in the end, eh? At least in my opinion, it came through with flying colors.
I don’t know why, but I had very low expectations for Semi-Pro. Okay, I take that back. I do know why. First, the movie looked like shit. I don’t mean this from a writing standpoint, but as in literally how the film looked. The movie just looked very low-quality and poorly directed. Everything was so dark and gloomy, and I was thinking, “Why does this look like a low budget drama? Isn’t this an expensive comedy?” Then, it started to get early bad word-of-mouth from critics, and I started having flashbacks of Kicking and Screaming. But it did have a couple of things going for it.
- It was rated R. Thank God for the studio not pussying out with a PG-13 rating which is what happens 99% of the time with sports comedies.
- It was written by Scot Armstrong who writes some classic stuff when he brings his A-game (Road Trip, Old School). Anywho, on to the flick.
First off, Semi-Pro has a kickass soundtrack. Will Ferrell recorded a couple hilarious songs himself, and the best one (the one from the opening credits) plays throughout the flick. I cracked the hell up every time I heard it. Secondly, Ferrell is supported by consistently funny character actors such as Will Arnett, Andy Richter, Andrew Daly, and some other familiar faces. Most jokes hit the right mark and stay within the parameter of the story (unlike some other Ferrell movies that get random), and hell, even Woody Harrelson was funny. And, of course, I’m in love with Maura Tierney (Abby on ER), who’s the only female headliner this time around.
While I thought the movie was fucking hilarious overall (and a definite DVD owner), I did have a couple minor complaints. The flick was a little too long, and 20 minutes or so should’ve been cut from it. And hey, what a coincidence! There’s a long, 15-minute segment about Will Ferrell fighting a bear that wasn’t funny whatsoever. For a second there, I thought everything was headed toward Kicking and Screaming territory. And my other complaint was, again, the look of the movie itself. I guess I understand the fact that they were going for the old ’70s retro feel by having dark lighting, but it just looked like poor quality film stock, and it made the lighting tone too dark and broody for a comedy. It kind of reminded me of Walk Hard a few months ago. I get that they wanted to shoot that flick just like the movie it was spoofing, but I still thought that it was a terrible idea. Furthermore, I still believe that the look of both these films are responsible for the lack of box office receipts (Walk Hard tanked and Semi-Pro is down about $20 million from Ferrell’s last opening).
Despite a couple minor complaints, Semi-Pro is the first kickass comedy of the year. Get your ass to the theater and see it, then buy that shit on DVD. Let’s just pray that they don’t come out with an Unrated version that replaces funny scenes with unfunny dogshit scenes. Talladega Nights: Unrated, anyone?