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Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Kevin Hart’s new movie shows he needs to stick to the small screen

Stand-up comedy is a funny thing (pun completely intended), it’s a money making vehicle for companies as they can get millions back on minuscule budgets.

It is also one of the few types of films released in theaters that are not narratively based, not to mention its status as personal entertainment, wherein stand-up is successful because it completely connects to people.

Part of stand-up comedy’s appeal is that the main figures, the comedians, are relatable; they flesh out stories that we understand the inherent humor in, and they build upon it.

Kevin Hart, one of the most recognizable comedians today with a career that has been skyrocketing, built his career on this concept. He is a small man with a Napoleonic complex a mile wide, but he’s relatable.

His physical and life struggles combined with his brash attitude and fiery delivery have connected with audiences over the past decade not only in his stand-up specials but in his movies as well.

However, with his most recent production of Kevin Hart: What Now?, we see a heinous decline in form, as the entire special comes off as a sort of weird, ego-driven pat on the back that Hart gives to himself, resulting in a comedy production only his faithful fans will enjoy.

The movie was filmed in Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field in an attempt to break a record for the largest stand-up special audience.

For the entire stand-up performance, Hart’s voice echoes throughout the stadium, a distraction audible to the audience viewing the film.

This egotistical excess is evident from the very beginning, as a James Bond-like intro puts Hart in the position of super-spy hero in a confusingly written skit where Hart portrays himself as a sort of comedy badass, culminating in a scene where he kills multiple men with his bare hands.

This intro skit lacks any real sense of cohesive comedy, the jokes are forced into the setting and very few parts are actually laugh-out-loud funny.

The one enjoyable portion of this intro is the cameos of Halle Berry, Don Cheadle and Ed Helms.

The content of the special itself is middling at best, Hart’s best work has been done in previous stand-up specials and this event really pales in comparison.

Hart’s detachment from relatable funny guy and transformation into egotistical comedy “rock star” is never more apparent than in his new material.

How is someone sitting in a movie theater or even watching this at home suppose to relate to jokes about the difficulties of being incredibly successful, braggadocious anecdotes about how hard it is to have a super-long driveway that goes up to his mansion, how he laments that his kids don’t have “edge” since he sends them to private schools.

Sound effects and a giant LCD screen illustrating them coddle his punch lines, as if the effort given to the jokes already wasn’t simple enough.

His attire is bedazzled in gold (even his microphone is gold), not only was this unnecessary but completely distracting. Worst of all, Hart has become a new generation’s Jeff Foxworthy, even including the self-fulfilling crap comedy specialty of the audience-provided punch line.

The ending to the show is similarly cheap: Hart makes a grandiose statement about how he and all of the audience in attendance “did it together”, as if that has any real meaning or impact.

It is impressive that Hart can sell so many tickets, but what is the point if your act has gone stale and you provide nothing worthy to fans?

Nothing was more insulting than after the final skit, where it was revealed that the whole production was seemingly nothing more than an advertisement to his pending “Global Tour”.

Ultimately, I will give Kevin Hart: What Now? two stars, because those that love Hart will enjoy this feature, if not as much as they deserve to.

Hart was once a very powerful and new comedian, but he is going to have to evolve to have any sort of impact in the coming years.

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About the Contributor
Briana Velarde, Online Editor
Just a journalist in the making. You can call me Bree.  This is my last semester on the newspaper but like everyone else I started as a staff writer. I have also been Social Media, Multimedia, and Arts & Entertainment editor. Currently pursuing a career in journalism. Music, entertainment, and visual stories are my passion. How much time do I spend in the newsroom? All day. Well maybe not all day because I work at a theater and sweep popcorn for a living, but hey these bills aren't going to pay themselves. My ultimate goal to become a digital content producer for a radio station. If all else fails catch me designing for a magazine like Complex or Fader. Since my life revolves online, therefore I am your current Online Editor. Excited to be able to share my content on the online and print version of Talon Marks, read all about it!
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Kevin Hart’s new movie shows he needs to stick to the small screen