We look at the box office hit Talladega Nights to see how it measures up on the home cinema…
The second of Will Ferrell’s thematically-linked ‘Mediocre American Man Trilogy’ (the first being Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy), Talladega Nights… casts its comedic eye at the world of NASCAR racing.
NASCAR superstar Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) has it all – a smokin’ hot wife, more sponsorship deals than he can count on both hands and an unbroken winning streak. All this comes to an end, though, when the spotlight begins to fall on a gay French driver (Sacha Baron Cohen) and, in an effort to beat the newcomer, Bobby is involved in a crash that causes him to lose his nerve behind the wheel.
While it was a huge hit at the box office, Talladega Nights… is sadly no Anchorman. Sticking to the established template for almost every sports film ever made, the movie feels incredibly familiar and tries to make amends by throwing countless jokes at the viewer. As good as many of the gags are (especially those involving Gary Cole as Bobby’s estranged father), just as many of them fail to even raise a chuckle.
And, in trying to throw so many ideas into the mix, the finished film drags on and on for a seemingly neverending 117 minutes!
The DVD’s anamorphic 2.40:1 presentation is excellent, thanks to a bright and richly-rendered colour palette and masses of fine detail in the image. The only noticeable problem is some obvious grain in very brightly lit scenes, but overall it’s a very attractive looking transfer.
Given the setting, the 5.1 mix is considerably more dynamic than those accompanying the majority of comedies.
Sure, a lot of the mix still favours the front speakers, but once the racing starts, the surrounds and subwoofer get a thorough workout.
For a single-disc release, there’s also no shortage of extras on offer. Included are a tongue-in-cheek commentary, nine deleted/extended scenes, a gag reel, video diaries, three in-character interviews, bonus race footage, audition footage, a featurette following Ferrell as he returns to the Talladega track on race day, spoof commercials and more.