Currently browsing the "Kevin Hart" tag.

Review: Jumanji: The Next Level

This one’s easy. If you saw and liked the 2017 film, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (which I rented this week as a primer), then it’s totally worth taking a couple hours to play along, again. The Next Level is not as good as Welcome to the Jungle; it drags a bit in the second half as the narrative gets convoluted. But it’s still an entertaining ride that – like its predecessor – has plenty of family-friendly action, humor and heart.

Review: The Upside

The Upside is a good movie. But it’s an American remake of a better movie called The Intouchables. So I’m in a bit of a conundrum. My preference would be that everyone see the 2011 French indie, but I know that’s a big ask. So if you’re not inclined to see the superior version – or you’ve put it on the list of ‘movies to rent someday’ – then go ahead and check out The Upside, primarily to revel in the comedic and dramatic acting chops of Bryan Cranston. He plays a quadriplegic billionaire, Phillip Lacasse, who hires a recently-paroled ex-convict named Dell (Kevin Hart) to be his caretaker. Phillip figures Dell is the only candidate for the job who is irresponsible and reckless enough to let him die. 

Review: Night School

Pass or Fail? Depends on how high (or low) you set the bar for a formulaic comedy with the likeable yet totally predictable Kevin Hart. If really low (like, lower than Ride Along 2), then Night School eeks out a passing grade. Otherwise, skip it. Or at least wait until you’re stuck on an airplane or a long car/bus/train ride and want to kill a couple hours with a weak but relatively harmless ensemble comedy featuring Girls Trip breakout star Tiffany Haddish.

Central Intelligence

Yes – Central Intelligence is kinda stupid. But in a week dominated by one tragic news story after another, I was happy to take the levity wherever I could find it. And I did get a few decent laughs out of this twisted buddy comedy with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Kevin “perennial sidekick” Hart. It’s the tale of two guys reunited (via Facebook friend request) on the eve of their 20-year high school reunion: Bob Stone, the oft-bullied overweight geek formerly known as Robbie Wierdicht who grew into a lethal CIA agent (Johnson), and Calvin “Golden Jet” Joyner, the popular jock/most-likely-to-succeed prom king who became a mild-mannered accountant leading a stable but staid existence devoid of excitement and drama. See where this is going?

Ride Along 2

One year ago, I was writing about the first Ride Along movie, describing it as a typical mid-January offering that served as perfectly harmless, mindless entertainment. I wish I could say the same about the sequel, Ride Along 2. But it doesn’t quite rise to the level of mindless entertainment. It’s more like an extended episode of a bad Miami Vice spoof that elicits the occasional laugh-out-loud moment before falling back into a pit of predictability, clichés, and plot-holes.

The Wedding Ringer

My biggest hang-up with this Bridesmaids-meets-Hangover-esque comedy is that it’s hard not to listen to its star, Josh Gad, and not picture the animated snowman Olaf from Frozen. The ‘characters’ may be different – but their voices are exactly the same. So it takes some getting used to! Do you wanna build a snowman…?

Is that all that’s wrong with The Wedding Ringer? No. But there’s plenty that’s right… including a story that is sweet and relatable at its core, and a cast of characters that generate plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. It’s basically a ‘buddy movie chick flick’ that offers up an entertaining escape from the somber awards-season fare.

Ride Along

Ride Along is a typical, formulaic, middle-of-the-road January offering. Not exactly a must see, but harmless entertainment. A sort of Beverly Hills Cop light. In Atlanta. Kevin Hart plays Ben, a fast-talking high-school security guard and video-game junkie with aspirations to join the police academy. But his potential future brother-in-law (Ice Cube), a hot-tempered Atlanta detective, doesn’t think Ben has what it takes to be a cop, or to marry his sister Angela (Tika Sumpter). So he takes Ben on a ride-along that’s essentially been ‘fixed’ to include only the most annoying and obnoxious runs. Of course, the plan goes awry and comedy and ‘drama’ ensue.