2006   USA Talladega Nights • The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
Talladega Nights • The Ballad of Ricky Bobby Image Cover
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Director:Adam McKay
Studio:Sony Pictures
Writer:Will Ferrell, Adam McKay
IMDb Rating:6.4 (60,168 votes)
Awards:6 wins & 4 nominations
Duration:121 min
Adam McKay  ...  (Director)
Will Ferrell, Adam McKay  ...  (Writer)
Jack Blessing  ...  
Gary Cole  ...  Reese Bobby
Greg Germann  ...  
Pat Hingle  ...  Mr. Dennit, Sr.
Jane Lynch  ...  Lucy Bobby
Jason Davis  ...  Waffle House Manager
Lorrie Bess Crumley  ...  Schoolteacher
Luke Bigham  ...  10-Year-Old Ricky
Austin Crim  ...  10-Year-Old Cal
Michael Clarke Duncan  ...  Lucius Washington
Will Ferrell  ...  Ricky Bobby
John C. Reilly  ...  Cal Naughton, Jr.
Adam McKay  ...  Terry Cheveaux
David Koechner  ...  Hershell
Ian Roberts  ...  Kyle
Jack McBrayer  ...  Glenn
John D. King  ...  ESPN Reporter
Sacha Baron Cohen  ...  
Oliver Wood  ...  Cinematographer
Brent White  ...  Editor
Jake Johnson  ...  5-Year-Old Ricky
Comments: The story of a man who could only count to #1

Summary: Sweet baby Jesus, we thank you for blessing Will Ferrell and Adam McKay with the talent to create a NASCAR comedy as hilarious as Talladega Nights. The so-called "Ballad of Ricky Bobby" is hardly flawless in fact it's not always firing on all cylinders but with comedy star Ferrell and director McKay still hot from the success of their previous comedy hit Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, most of this 108-minute spoof of oval-track racing is so knee-slappin' funny that you can't help but surrender to the stupidity.

Obviously, Ferrell's the shining star, and his portrayal of lead-footed pit-crew-member-turned-#1 NASCAR champion Ricky "I Wanna Go Fast" Bobby (how can you not love that name?) is spot-on perfect, righteously spoofing the entirety of NASCAR culture without insulting its oft-ridiculed roots in redneck bootlegging of a bygone era. You could even argue that Talladega Nights is truer to NASCAR than Tom Cruise's Days of Thunder, and it's certainly more entertaining, especially when you add John C. Reilly as Ricky's life-long pal, teammate, and eventual rival Cal Naughton, Jr. (together they're nicknamed "Shake 'n Bake"), and Sacha Baron Cohen (from Da Ali G Show and Borat) as gay French "Formula Un" driver-turned NASCAR rival Jean Girrard, to a stellar cast including Molly Shannon, Greg Germann, Amy Adams and Michael Clarke Duncan.

Sure, it's mostly a showcase for Ferrell's loud, over-the-top antics and nonsensical non sequiturs (like cameo appearances by Elvis Costello and Mos Def), but with Ferrell behind the wheel, Talladega Nights rolls into victory lane with fuel to spare, and there's one final bit of comedy (with a tip of the hat to William Faulkner) for those who sit through the credits. --Jeff Shannon

Stills from Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby(click for larger image)

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