FERRELL TAKES THE FIELD Review
Director: Brian McGinn
HBO was on to something when they brought viewers 7 DAYS IN HELL, and with FERRELL TAKES THE FIELD they continue their sports mockumentary formula, but with a markedly different slant on the concept, skewing a little closer towards a traditional documentary with a heavy knack for comedy. As such, the result is a notably less entertaining film with absolutely no incorporation of visual comedy, trading in comedy that derives from the sport in favor of gags that come from the interviews with the talking heads.
The look of a man with nothing funny to say
Since FERRELL TAKES THE FIELD also exists as a documentation of its titular star’s attempt to raise one-million dollars in charity donations for victims of cancer, its a little hard to criticize the film for its setbacks, since it ultimately serves a very noble purpose. However, when ignoring the goals of the film and viewing it as one would any other comedy, it fails miserably.
Where 7 DAYS IN HELL succeeded was in how it treated the game of tennis. Viewers were treated to a film that capitalized on audience expectations of what happens during a tennis match, resulting in a film that aimed for visual comedy first and foremost. Interviews would then add some comedy delivered by the lead actors, and although the entire experience was mostly hit-or-miss, it was obvious that the film was onto something when exploring how to joke around with the static cameras that film this type of athletic activity.
The apex of comedy, as far as this film is concerned
FERRELL TAKES THE FIELD unfortunately misses the mark entirely in terms of actually giving the audience anything other than a Ferrell filibuster. The short bursts of comedy that occur on-field are entertaining, but are few and far between, and the film attempts to make up for this by showing us Jumbotron footage of Ferrell running around the field. Clearly Ferrell’s intent to raise money was the priority here, leaving HBO with little-to-no interesting footage, causing them to scramble in an attempt to construct a fifty minute film.
Verdict: Do Not Recommend