Kevin Hart is slowly becoming a comedic household name, as his stardom and humor have recently begun catching the attention of audiences worldwide. Known for his loud personality and his short stature, Hart plays to all his stereotypes and tries to make a fun experience for the audience. Of late, Hart has been featured in the news because of his recent divorce and he believes that the press is giving him a bad reputation. So, he decided that he’d explain the inner-workings of his marriage on a comedy tour! Eventually, that tour would lead him to Madison Square Garden, a venue at which few comedians have ever performed.
The film kicks off with a fun after-party that Hart is hosting. All his friends and bodyguards are there and everyone is having a good time, until some punk decides to call Hart out and tries to make a fool of him. Things heat up quickly and before you know it, Hart proclaims that he’s going to the Garden so that he can explain himself. On his way over to Madison Square Garden, Hart opens up about some personal issues and proceeds to tell us why performing at the Garden is such a big deal for a comedian. He takes us through his tour and before you know it, he’s center stage performing for a sold out audience.
Hart’s stand-up routine all centers on his marriage and his divorce. We get everything from a crazy wife hiding in the trunk, to what he would do if his kid’s new stepfather ever made fun of him. In that case, he’d have to fight the new husband. There’s also lots of explicit language to accompany the routine and Hart’s overzealous personality never fails to have the audience laughing and even crying. He plays to all the stereotypes about crazy women, but also admits to cheating on his wife and how everything went downhill in their marriage. In the end, Hart is in tears thanking the sold-out audience for helping make a dream of his come true.
I’m not the biggest fan of Kevin Hart’s comedy, as I think that he is loud and obnoxious for the sake of garnering a few laughs. However, when he’s on, he has me laughing my ass off. There were a few moments in the film that had me pausing it, so as not to miss any more humorous dialog. He’s got talent, I’ll give him that, but I think that he needs to avoid going too crazy when on stage. There are times when he tries far too hard to be funny and it detracts you from his routine.
As far as a film goes, Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain is fine. It’s nothing really special and is more of a highlight reel than anything. The film does provide a fun intro to Hart’s long journey and it’s cool to see him conquer the world with his comedy, but then the film shifts into his performance and things begin to change drastically. The edits are a bit rough around the edges and for me, there were an unbelievable amount of audience reaction shots. I know that people find him funny, so I wasn’t thrilled when I saw continuous shots of audience members about to fall out of their seats laughing. It seemed phony, in a sense, because it tries to make you think that what Hart is saying is funnier than it actually is.
As far a comedy routine goes, Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain is also, just fine. Being a teenager in high school, I feel as though I’ve cycled through the usual suspects when it comes to stand-up comedians. Foolishly, I found Dane Cook funny in my earlier years. Then, I watched a lot of Demetri Martin, until I found the wonderful Bo Burnham. I’ve always been a fan of smart humor, so Hart doesn’t have too much to offer me. As I said earlier though, he does have some great moments that are genuinely funny. Unfortunately, those moments are overshadowed by repetition of the same jokes and lots of yelling. I laughed a little, but not as much as I would have liked to.
While I may not have been completely entertained by this film, I am very glad to see that Hart is succeeding as a comedian. It’s a very tough business to break into and selling out Madison Square Garden is an incredible achievement on its own. So, Kudos to you, Mr. Hart. Next time, however, I just wish that he’d make a better movie. If you watch this film I’m sure you’ll laugh a little bit, but you could also find funnier clips of his by browsing YouTube for five minutes.