Like most stand-ups Kevin Hart’s movie career has been spotty at best although he delivers one of the funniest lines in recent movie history in the 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN with “First of all, you throwin' too many big words at me, and because I don't understand them, I'm gonna take 'em as disrespect” That is funny stuff but his role is all too brief in the film and left audiences wanting more. As with most stand-ups give them a microphone and a captivated audience and they shoot to the moon. Kevin Hart is no different and he is back on the big screen doing what he does best; making audiences double over with laughter.
The film begins with an overlong segment which has Hart at a party being thrown in his honor and he is being hit with different false rumors and he decides on the spot to play the Madison Square Garden to “explain” his side of things. This then leads to yet another overlong segment which shows Hart performing at different venues across the globe. This segment could have been left out in fact the audience I saw it with seemed a little anxious for the show to get going. Once the show get does get going it does not disappoint. Filmed at Madison Square Garden during his LET ME EXPLAIN tour Hart unleashes his unique look at relationships, fame, kids, being single and horseback riding (yes horseback riding!). Once he hits the stage it is off and running and barely slows down to catch a breath. I do not know how the show actually played live but Hart’s energy level is amazing and he doesn't even break a sweat. I must admit I laughed more than I thought I would. My favorite bits are his buddy’s inability to remember a code they have to avoid saying the wrong thing in front of their women, he’s own signal to let his buddies know to assist him in certain situations and “bum bumps”. Hart apparently found the latter joke so funny he almost could not get it out. One of the things that I have admired about Hart’s humor is that it never seems mean spirited and although he purports everything he talks about to be a true story I doubt that most are but he tells them which such conviction and clarity they just might be.
Undoubtedly this film will be compared to other stand up films such as RICHARD PRYOR LIVE IN CONCERT, YOU SO CRAZY, EDDIE MURPHY RAW and THE ORIGINAL KINGS OF COMEDY and it probably an unfair comparison because they are all funny for different reasons. This is a very funny film and it does not overstay its welcome as the stand-up portion clocks in at about an hour and there is never a dull moment. If there is material on the cutting room floor I hope it appears on the eventual home video release. As it stands this is an excellent document of Hart’s stand up and I highly recommend it. Obviously leave the kiddos at home and enjoy a grown folks time at the movies. With all the craziness in the world we could all use a little good laughter.