I considered not writing about this movie, but I realized that was because I'm not very good at writing about comedies (which is ironic, in a way, since I wrote my thesis on "comedy", but that's a little different). But this is just a blog, so why not practice?
I didn't like this as much as I liked Anchorman, which I thought had a unique vibe for a big dumb comedy. Anchorman seemed loose and quirky with the best gags coming out of left field.
Talladega was funny enough, but the only thing that really got me laughing (as opposed to chuckling or snickering) was the "Baby Jesus" routine. I liked the cast, for the most part, but I thought Sacha Baron Cohen's entire role was misconceived.
And I suppose it is unfair to criticize a big dumb comedy on the merits of how well it deals with its subject matter, but I think it misses out by centering on a feud between a redneck and a Frenchman rather than dealing with a conflict actually drawn from the NASCAR world - like rednecks vs. those mid-western and west coast pretty boys that advertisers and sponsors love so much (Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson, for example). Maybe that would have been too much like Days of Thunder, though.