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Movie Reviews with Karl: Get Hard Gunmen

Movie Reviews with Karl: Get Hard Gunmen

Karl Taro Greenfeld reviews movies without seeing them. He watches trailers, or parts of the trailers. If the movie is a sequel, he has not seen any earlier films in the series. He basically doesn’t watch any movies. (Any similarities in plot between his reviews and the actual movies are coincidental.)

Get Hard

Starring Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell

Will Ferrell is the CEO of an investment bank whose corruption and mismanagement has resulted in thousands of employees losing their jobs. Additionally, he is being prosecuted under stringent new Dodd-Frank banking regulations and sentenced by an over-zealous liberal judge to serve prison time in San Quentin. Worried he won’t survive in prison, he hires Kevin Hart, who he believes to be a gang member, to toughen him up. Hart, however, is not an actual gang member. He’s a former junior level analyst at Ferrell’s investment bank who was laid off when Ferrell destroyed the company. Desperate for work, Hart agrees to teach Ferrell how to be “hard” enough for the yard, and the two embark on an urban version of outward bound, meeting with gang members, picking fights with strangers, robbing liquor stores, selling crack cocaine on street corners and loan sharking, through which Ferrell not only becomes a hardened criminal, he also starts to realize that his mistake as a banker was that he wasn’t crooked enough.

Hart, moved by Ferrell’s insight, confesses that he too used to want to be banker, and he now realizes his fundamental decency was holding him back.

Emboldened, Ferrell and Hart launch their own too big to fail investment bank, using their ruthless criminal skills and street smarts to legally bilk the federal government out of tens of billions of bail out dollars, which they use to pay back all the money Ferrell lost as well as the substantial fines and penalties incurred. The judge is satisfied that Ferrell has paid his debt to society and suspends his prison sentence.

HartFerrell becomes the most successful investment bank in the world.

Get Hard is an important film in that is shows how over-zealous regulation of our financial sector is holding job creators back.

Gunmen All Night

Starring Liam Neeson, Sean Penn, Ed Harris, Moby, Javier Bardem, Idris Elba

Sean Penn plays a former CIA killer, the best assassin the Company ever had, who has left government service and now wants nothing more than to retire to Hell’s Kitchen and drink himself to death. But Javier Bardem, the head of the CIA, has Presidential ambitions and so needs to eliminate former agents like Penn who know too many dark secrets. He dispatches Ed Harris and a team of Irish Mafia assassins to kill Penn.

Harris’s best killer is his son, Moby, who while stalking Penn is shot by Liam Neeson, a former Irish Mafia hitman, the best the mob ever had, who has quit the job and gone straight. Neeson and Penn quickly exchange notes and are able to piece together a CIA-Irish Mafia plot that would turn the United States into nothing more than a colony of the Vatican, presided over by a Hispanic-Catholic President (Bardem) and his Irish-Catholic VP (Harris).  Penn, during his time in the CIA, was careful to record all of his conversations and he has them on a disc. Only Penn and Neeson, their 43 handguns, and this disc, can prevent Papal suzerainty over America. If they don’t deliver the disc to Idris Elba, the editor of Buzzfeed, in time, then Church and State will forever be unseparated.

Harris and Bardem chase Penn and Neeson on a pair of tandem bicycles through Hell’s Kitchen, several New York subway tunnels and a Caribbean Island, destroying several office buildings, a car factory, a munitions depot, an oil refinery, a tractor factory, a chicken farm, an entire city block of tenements, another munitions depot, sixteen Burger King franchises, two hair salons, a nail salon, a massage parlor, a baseball card factory, the National Little League Hall of Fame, two more munitions depots and one independent bookstore. Everything explodes around them all the time. Finally, cornered, Penn gives Neeson the disc, and urges him to find the editor of Buzzfeed, and he vows to hold off Harris and Bardem until Neeson can get away.

Penn makes his last stand, but already, the army, alerted by the viral Buzzfeed charticle about the impending Papal takeover, has sent thousands of soldiers repelling from helicopters, who capture Harris and Bardem, and rescue Sean Penn.

Penn and Neeson meet at the hospital, where both men realize that though they spent their lives on the opposite sides of the law, there shared belief in a secular society means they really aren’t so different after all.

Gunmen All Night is an important film in that it reminds us that we can never take our secular society for granted.


Karl Taro Greenfeld
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About The Author

Karl Taro Greenfeld

Karl Taro Greenfeld is the author of eight books, including the novel The Subprimes, to be published in May. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Harper's, The Paris Review, Best American Short Stories (2009, 2013) and O. Henry Prize Stories (2012). Follow him @karltaro.

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