A solid routine that just doesn’t live up to cinema expectations.
Kevin Hart brings his newest comedy tour to the big-screen in “What Now?”. So, this was the show that I believe concluded his worldwide tour also called “What Now?” and in grand fashion he sells out Lincoln Financial Field performing in front of 50,000 plus people.
I did enjoy this show but would have to second guess whether it was worthy of a theatrical release from an audience aspect given this was much more like an HBO special. From a studio aspect, it was a smart move, box-office profits would not be hard to come by with the small budget needed to get it done. But in my opinion while I did enjoy this show for the most part, being in the cinema naturally heightened my expectations, ones that when it was all said and done were not met.
Kevin Hart is everywhere in Hollywood right now and some say he is doing too much too quick. I tend to think he is striking while the iron is hot and making as much as he can while still trying to expand his talents to other reaches. Kevin Hart is a good stand-up comedian but he is an even better entertainer and he seems to be well aware of that.
This show starts out with a parody of a scenario from the “Casino Royale” film where Hart plays the James Bond role code named 0054. It was fun, provided some chuckles and the cameos from; Halle Berry, Don Cheadle, and Ed Helms without question serve their purpose. The vignette was well shot, showed its budget and the dialogue was dumb but amusing. Sure, it had nothing to do with the proceeding stand-up show but it was still a fun handful of minutes that allow Hart to blend some acting into his routine, and helps to solidify some reason for its theatrical release.
Once the show starts Kevin Hart enters in energetic style in front of the massive outdoor crowd and you could feel the energy in the stadium in anticipation for the show. In front of three massive screens that serve as the backdrop for his show, changing to fit the scenario of Harts routines, he begins his act. The comedy was amusing at time as Hart focuses on his friends, family and home life for the most part. He brushes on his kids, his pending marriage, and some everyday scenarios in life that all provide more chuckles, that outright laughs.
He keeps a nice flow between his sequences but it did feel like the energy in the audience seemed to drain after time. The overall routine felt like some of his past ones but he still made the most out of his with his charisma, physical humor, and the energy he maintains in his persona.
There were some relatable moments that create some genuine laughter but in the end the run-time was on the long side. The vignette at the beginning could have been longer given the material in his routine didn’t feel as fresh making it fatiguing in the last act. Overall “Kevin Hart: What Now?” was a good time, not a great time, it made me laugh a few times, but it would have been more enjoyable watching at home on cable.
Time: 96 min
MPAA Rating: R (For some sexual material, and language throughout)