I like comedy, I like standup, and Kevin Hart is one of my favorite comics, so I jumped at the chance to see Kevin Hart: What Now?
Of course, these days, most comedy movies are on Comedy Central or similar. So, why is this standup special different? And why is it saying that it did something never done before?
Second question first – Kevin Hart: What Now? broke records because he sold out Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, as in, he sold 50,000 tickets to one performance. That’s an impressive night out.
What makes it different is that there’s a mini movie that bookends the actual comedy act.
Similar to the opening credits scene in Austin Powers: Goldmember that featured Tom Cruise and Gwyneth Paltrow “playing” Austin Powers and his strong but sexy love interest, this movie has a James Bond spoof that’s just as funny as the Austin Powers one was, albeit in a different way. There are cameos from Don Cheadle, Ed Helms, and more – all hilarious – and Halle Berry is the co-star and she’s funny, too. I’d have willingly watched this as a full length movie. In fact, the hubs thought it was funnier than Central Intelligence. (No, sadly, the Rock does not make an appearance.)
But the real test is the actual standup concert footage and the question is: Is it funny?
Yeah, it is.
There are a few quibbles – a couple of the bits go on a bit long, Hart does some decidedly non-PC (but funny) jokes, and the ending bit that features Starbucks, while funny, seems like it’s 15 years late. But all the jokes land, Hart is engaging as always, and his timing remains excellent. The audiences – both in the movie and at the premiere – were totally into the show, and, as Hart points out at the end, the audience was made of up all races and ages, all laughing together.
This movie earns its R rating for language and sexual discussion. While I always think I shouldn’t need to say it, there were young kids in the audience so, yeah, parents, maybe see it first before you decide to stretch the “all ages” idea to include kids in elementary school.
If you like Kevin Hart – and right now, based on his box office and that gigantic sellout crowd, everybody does – and you’re looking for a movie that’s going to make you belly laugh, Kevin Hart: What Now? is a great choice.
Rating: 4.5 Stars
In Universal Pictures’ Kevin Hart: What Now?, comedic rock-star Kevin Hart follows up his 2013 hit stand-up concert movie Let Me Explain, which grossed $32 million domestically and became the third-highest live stand-up comedy movie of all time. Hart takes center stage in this groundbreaking, record-setting, sold-out 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 at-capacity football stadium.