Kevin Hart breaks a record by selling out the Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles, for his new world tour.
The films starts off spoofing James Bond with Hart’s own 007 opening complete with a Bond-esque title sequence and a Texas hold’em poker game. Hart and Halle Berry compete against David Meunier, Peter Mensah and Don Cheadle in an effort to fund his upcoming world tour. Oh and Ed Helms is the bartender. It’s a funny bit (thanks in large part to Cheadle) that leads into Hart taking the stage.
It is then that the film hits a slight snag.
Performing in his hometown of Philadelphia, Hart’s adrenaline was pumping as he took the stage. Though there wasn’t any fire like his last special, the massive screens helped to solidify the magnitude of the occasion.
The first twenty minutes of his stand up routine were “ha-ha” funny; however, they failed to generate more than a slight chuckle. Had you sent me a clip on my cell phone I’d have likely replied with an “lol”, though I wouldn’t have actually been laughing. There were a few solid moments but much of the material seemed forced – as if the local funny man was trying too hard. Thankfully Hart eventually settles into his groove and generates authentic laughs that have you clenching your side as you try desperately to catch your breath – at least that’s what I was doing.
What Now? marks Hart’s fourth stand-up routine. Though fans of his previous work will likely enjoy his material, expectations must be kept at bay. Given the title of “hardest working man in Hollywood”, Hart has had great success when it comes to the big screen. As a result his work here should not be compared to his features. They are different and Hart should be commended for his ability to put together four specials, even if the material is growing a bit stale.
The film itself would have likely served better as a Netflix original or an HBO special, but some fans will want to experience Hart’s biggest performance on the biggest screen possible. It’s just hard to justify the price tag that goes along with that experience – especially if you aren’t there in the flesh.