REVIEW — “Kevin Hart: What Now?”
Kevin Hart is arguably the biggest comedian in Hollywood right now. I’m not necessarily talking about the best, but just the biggest. He’s one of the few remaining stars that can completely sell a film off of his brand, which is why he’s wisely working with The Rock, a man who can do the same thing. It should be no surprise that he has released his “What Now?” tour into theaters nationwide. I really enjoy pretty much everything that he does, and I think he’s one of the absolute most energetic and lively performers in the business right now. My main question was whether or not “What Now?” would be worth seeing in a crowded theater, and I am surprised to say that after seeing the film, I can’t think of watching it in any other format! This is one hell of a stand-up, and it demands to be seen with the largest audience that you can find.
The film begins like an actual spy film with Bond-like opening credits and flashy music and visuals blasting. This threw a few members of the audience I saw it with for a loop, some on the way out saying they thought it was going to be an actual movie. I think I enjoyed this spy bit the least out of everything in the film, but still had fun with it nonetheless. The gimmick got tired a bit quicker than I thought, but I understand that they had to include it in there in order to push this to the 90 minute mark. It’s surprisingly well shot, funny enough, and cameo-filled. Perhaps the best thing to come out of this segment was an absolutely hilarious banter between Hart and actor Don Cheadle, where Hart gives Cheadle a hard time about his career choices. By the 10 minute mark the film transitions directly into the stand-up special. However, stay for the credits if you want to see more spy action with Kevin Hart and Halle Berry!
The actual stand-up special to this is well worth the price of admission if you’re a fan of Kevin Hart. It’s absolutely hysterical, and reaffirms my stance on him being one of the most capable performers in the game right now. Throughout the 90 minutes, he tells stories about his experiences as a father and a man of color coming from a different background; how he is trying to raise his children with edge in order to give them a distinct personality, despite having more money than he ever had when he was their age. Hart finds a really solid balance in sincerity and genuine hilarity, making for one of the best stand-up specials that I’ve seen in quite sometime. Each one builds upon the last, and he finds a really hilarious way to call-back to certain stories throughout the special.
It’s hard to pick a favorite segment from this, since they are all equally funny and blend together into one larger narrative of family and life. However, there were a few in particular that stood out to me. Such as a segment about Starbucks, a small story about a raccoon invading Kevin’s house, one in which how watching “The Conjuring” with his family ruined his night, and another involving a sex store that nearly had me falling out of my seat because I could hardly breathe. I can’t imagine that this is going to become a classic along the likes of Richard Pryor’s “Live on the Sunset Strip” or Eddie Murphy’s “Delirious”, but it is absolutely refreshing to see a burst of energy like Kevin Hart deliver 90 minutes of non-stop laughs and joy. If you’re a fan of his, I can’t recommend you checking this out enough. It delivers excellently, and you’ll definitely get your money’s worth. 4/5.