Shameless: Our Review of ‘Kevin Hart: What Now?’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - October 14, 2016
Shameless: Our Review of ‘Kevin Hart: What Now?’

There are two distinct, disparate pieces to Kevin Hart’s new so-called film; they don’t work at all together, and neither works that well on its own. In fact, the main reason the second part works at all is that it brings to an end a first part that is unwatchable.

Kevin Hart:What Now? is more like What The…?  What we have that constitutes this ‘movie’ is basically an hourlong standup routine by Hart that is given a 20-minute or so opening skit, which as unfunny as it is idiotic.

In case you missed it, Hart embarked on a comedy tour last year, dubbed ‘What Now?’ One of the stops was in Philadelphia, where he played at the football stadium and got a ridiculous amount of people to show up: some 50,000 or so. It was filmed – quite expertly indeed – but that’s not enough for a movie.

So, Hart decides to make a short James Bond spoof, and it plays before the routine. The joke is that Hart is a secret agent, and along with Halle Berry – also a secret agent – he plays a high stakes poker game right before this show in Philly. It’s like Casino Royale, but you know, bad. Don Cheadle shows up, Hart makes some terrible jokes, he kills a bunch of people, and there is a ton of looking at the camera and talking to the audience. It’s short, dumb, and random.

8P05_D002_00556 In Universal Pictures’ Kevin Hart: What Now?, comedic rockstar KEVIN HART follows up his 20 13 hit standup concert movie Let Me Explain, which grossed $32 million domestically and became the thirdhighest live standup comedy movie of all time. Hart takes center stage in this groundbreaking, recordsetting, soldout performance of “What Now?”—filmed outdoors in front of 50,000 people at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field—marking the first time a comedian has ever performed to an atcapacity football stadium. Credit: Frank Masi

Then it goes right into the stand up, which is, well, pretty straightforward. Apparently lots of people find him funny, or at least funny enough to see in a stadium. His has a middlebrow brand of comedy, underscored with boundless energy and enthusiasm, and littered with just enough curse words and questionable material to make him seem edgy.

At the same time he does a Starbucks bit that is outrageously dated. He also refers to women as ‘bitches’ a lot, which doesn’t really fly. He has callbacks and most of the routine is about how he’s a terrible person to the people he loves.

There is a brief extro as well, which is more of the same. That is, the entirety of this project, and indeed the content of the standup, is exceedingly self-serving. Hart, wearing a gold necklace and wielding a gold microphone, talks of how great he is for selling out a stadium, how rich he is, and how the next thing he does will be even bigger and better.

It’s self promotion without awareness, a disconnect without humility. A hard worker and at time hilarious (though seldom here), Hart’s project will surely prove money-making, but not worth the time.

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Anthony is a lover of a good story in any form, on any subject. Tirelessly navigating filmdom, he is equal parts an unbridled idealist and stubborn curmudgeon, trying to strike a balance between head and heart when it comes to pop culture. He pens stories about television, music, the environment, lifestyles, and all things noteworthy and peculiar.