Kevin Hart: What Now? full movie review - What to do now?
This is my review of Kevin Hart: What Now? (spoiler free)
AS A COMEDY film star Kevin Hart isn't funny as his annoying high pitched voice takes over the entirety of the movies, and he delivers one high pitched screamed un-funny line to the other horrendously un-funny line. However as an on-stage stand-up comedian he is relentlessly funny; for the most part anyway. After the staggering success of his other live concert movies Let Me Explain and Laugh at my Pain he returns to his home town tour in Philadelphia with more comedic material performing live in front of a record-breaking 50,000 people at Philadelphia's outdoor venue, the Lincoln Financial Field an American football stadium, it is the biggest ever audience for a comedy show as the stadium is at capacity. What Now? opens with an ill-advised short film like sketch directed by Tim Story, no not the director of the Ride Along series, as it stars Hart as a spy named Agent 0054 alongside Halle Berry, unfortunately this is Hart with his usual mannerisms or Hartisms as it relies on poor continuity with the jokes so it delivers more dry laughs as he tries to be funny but drastically fails.
The scene plays in a casino that he has to go into to find a person to infiltrate look out for a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo of Hangover star Ed Helms, but the rest of the scene although original is filled with poor continuation, repetition and even a mediocre fight scene with Hart being braver than he normally is and not screaming his lungs out every few minutes. All this takes place three hours before the show, and it ends with Hart covered in blood and changing for the show. Finally he appears on stage with black-on-black attire and some more original material with 50,000 people thinking he is a good. While watching a live comedy performance on such a big stage in front of a massive audience there is always one thing to consider; how funny is the material? Or will it stop funny half way through?
In What Now it relies on some of the simplest pleasures and that is Hart's storytelling as he mainly talks about his personal life with his kids and his wife, whom he calls his lady as we learn that some of the funniest comedy comes that comes from the performer is always comedy about real life places and people. So, Hart takes over the stage shouting, screaming, sweating and pacing telling these relentlessly funny stories about his kids and the camera shows some of the audience holding their head in their hands and crying with laughter.
What follows through-out for most of the entire film is this material about his adored personal life that has quite a range as it starts out being sort of funny, and then continues to be hugely hilarious with every single member of the audience screaming and laughing and even a couple of time can be seen copying some of the lines. This only happens in the first 2/3 of the movie, but unfortunately the last 1/3 relies on drearier storytelling, same old material as he copies some of the same jokes and there are mediocre laughs as some of the audience starts to get a little bored, there are a couple of moments that stick out but none of them will take of the hilarity over the 2/3 of the film. To end it goes back to the ending of the spy sketch and continuing with the poor comedic standard and he wants to take his comedy all over the world and asks will the world think he is funny? So is he funny? It all depends. Despite some of the un-funny Hollywood trappings, in the Ride Along double and some massively ill-advised giant-screen visuals which intend to augment some of his hackneyed routines, Hart's actual stand-up is funny and doesn't rely on too much movie bombast or too heavy of a Hollywood ego.
VERDICT: Hart's third live concert movie is relentlessly funny for the most part with 50,000 people thinking he's hilarious and crying with laughter, but unfortunately the rest of What Now is filled with repetition, poor continuation and dry mediocre laughs.