Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby is a comedy sports film. Directed by Adam McKay, it opened in cinemas on August 4, 2006.
Star NASCAR driver Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) is living the good life, having a luxurious mansion, a hot wife (Leslie Bibb), and all the fast food he can eat. One day, however, a flamboyant French Formula One driver named Jean Girard (Sacha Baron Cohen) starts blindsiding him, and Ricky gets injured in a devastating wreck. After losing his wife and job to his best friend and fellow fool Cal Naughton, Jr. (John C. Reilly), Ricky must get the motivation he needs to get back on the track from his estranged father (Gary Cole) and beat Girard once and for all.
Why It Rocks
- Great acting. Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly in particular have excellent chemistry.
- It uses the NASCAR premise nicely.
- Some funny moments, such as the prayer scene.
- Likable characters, such as Ricky Bobby, a NASCAR driver who only believes in winning throughout his career. He originally drove the No. 26 Laughing Clown Malt Liquor Chevrolet Monte Carlo until it became sponsored by Wonder Bread and Powerade during his soar to the top of NASCAR and the No. 62 "ME" Ford Taurus at the Talladega 500.
- Amazing soundtrack that was performed by Alex Wurman.
- Some actual NASCAR drivers make cameos, such as Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and so do broadcasters like Fox’s Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds and Darrell Waltrip, and NBC’s Bill Weber, Wally Dallenbach, Jr., and the late, great Benny Parsons.
- Cool stock car racing sequences.
- Seeing Will Ferrell as a NASCAR driver be amusing.
- There is some padding that makes the movie feel longer.
- Product placement like Matchbox model cars as mentioned in the beginning during the pitstop scene.
The film received generally positive reviews from critics, and the fans of the NASCAR series, with a 71% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 188 reviews, with an average rating of 6.51/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "Though it occasionally stalls, Talladega Nights' mix of satire, clever gags, and excellent ensemble performances put it squarely in the winner's circle." On Metacritic, it has a 66/100 based on 33 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."