Monday, October 17, 2016

Movie Review #504: "Kevin Hart: What Now?" (2016)

Movie"Kevin Hart: What Now?"
Director: Leslie Small & Tim Story
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 36 minutes
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Kevin Hart kicks off his global stand-up tour at a sold out football stadium in front of 50,000+ people in Philadelphia.

"Kevin Hart: What Now?" is a stand-up comedy show directed by Leslie Small with a sketch introduction that can best be described as a parody cross between the James Bond films meets "The Equalizer." This early portion is directed by Tim Story. The introduction is absolutely hilarious and includes an opening credit roll that reminded us of the one we saw in "Skyfall." This portion has several funny cameos featuring multiple well known actors, who all have humorous exchanges with Kevin Hart, mostly by poking fun at how annoying he is. The intro lasts about 15-20 minutes, and from there, Hart winds up at 'The Linc' in Philadelphia, which is packed to the brim with people and is sold out for his concert.

After this initial introduction, "What Now?" is a pretty standard stand-up show. Hart tells jokes on stage for over an hour, and most of his humor revolves around how selfish, self-centered, and shallow he is, even when it comes to the safety of his family and those closest to him in the face of sharks, raccoons, or even ghosts. He discusses his children, who don't have any edge because they attend private school, his closest friends and their special relationships with one another, his fiance (now wife) and their sometimes tumultuous love, as well as his house, his daily routine, and as mentioned above, how much of a funny asshole he is in real life. How much you enjoy this elongated comedy routine will depend entirely upon how much you enjoy Kevin Hart's style of comedy. He doesn't do anything unexpected, and this film goes exactly how we thought a Kevin Hart comedy special would go. Apart from the jokes, the production values of this show are very impressive. Gone are the days of a simple stage for Hart, and this time around, he enjoys amenities such as camera cues, lighting effects, audio noises, and photographic backgrounds, all tied to his routine and synced up flawlessly. There is a little too much footage of the audience riotously laughing and reciting Hart's lines back to him, and both BigJ and I noticed this. It's not completely bothersome, but it certainly is frequent.

I laughed way more than I thought I would and did so almost entirely throughout the entire film. For BigJ, however, the comedy was never downright hilarious in "Kevin Hart: What Now?" It never induced any large laughs from him, more of a steadiness of chuckles and a long, fixed smile. Though not a complete waste of time, the theater experience is not that much better compared to watching it home. It's not the type of film that begs to be seen on the big screen, but Kevin Hart fans will most likely love it.

My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 6/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 78%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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