Unlimited Access. Try it Today! Your First 10 Days Always $0.99

Movies

Entertainment Movies

Movie review: 'Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain' builds up to a letdown

There's a heavy dose of pumping up before Kevin Hart hits the stage in his latest concert film "Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain." A prologue at a party shows the compact, energetic comedian being misunderstood by hangers-on about his take on women and fame — introducing topics he plans to "explain" onstage at Madison Square Garden. That's followed by an extended tour video hawking Hart as an international star who can slay 'em in Vancouver, London and Oslo.

The build-up is a little baffling, if we assume that anybody buying a ticket to "Let Me Explain" doesn't need to be sold on Hart's particular comic gifts: character sketches, crazy stories steeped in embarrassment and boundless physicality.

It's too bad, then, that the hour of mike time isn't as strong as such previous dispatches as "Seriously…Funny." A long stretch of harangues about "bitches" come off as merely stale and baiting, even if director Leslie Small keeps cutting to laughing women in the audience as if to assure us they find it funny. Carps about celebritydom feel forced, rather than observant.

Where Hart shines is teasing an anxiety into something full-blown weird, like an excuse for being late that spins out of control, or — in his funniest bit — an extended fear about the smallest touch from a street person. At the end, Hart wells up as he expresses gratitude to the crowd for selling out the Garden. It's an unusually emotional moment for a hot-shot comic, even if "Let Me Explain" doesn't exactly inspire tears from laughter.

calendar@latimes.com

--------------------------

'Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain'

Running time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

MPAA rating: R for pervasive language including sexual references

Playing: In general release

PHOTOS AND MORE PHOTOS: Faces to watch 2014 | Movies ENVELOPE: The latest awards buzz DOCUMENTARIES: 10 best of 2013, and a new crop in 2014

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Review: 'The Heat' lights up with new buddy-cop twist
    Review: 'The Heat' lights up with new buddy-cop twist

    With 'Bridesmaids'' Paul Feig directing, Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy are an odd couple who are just as brash, tough and gung-ho for action as any guys in law enforcement in this movie genre.

  • Review: 'Clouds of Sils Maria'
    Review: 'Clouds of Sils Maria'

    Now 60, and always more of a wry classicist than a maverick, the writer-director Olivier Assayas is one of the steadiest and most reliable filmmakers in contemporary cinema. I like his latest, "Clouds of Sils Maria," a great deal; it's beautifully acted and has a few wise (if familiar) things to...

  • Review: 'The Salt of the Earth'
    Review: 'The Salt of the Earth'

    Watching "The Salt of the Earth," the compelling new documentary about photographer Sebastiao Salgado, it becomes clear early on just how odd it is to experience Salgado's work on someone else's timetable. With an exhibition or a book of photographs, you set your own clock, spending as much time...

  • Review: 'Monkey Kingdom'
    Review: 'Monkey Kingdom'

    Compile all the sufferings and adversities heaped upon all the vulnerable protagonists in the complete works of Charles Dickens, from "Little Dorrit" to "Oliver Twist," and you'd still fall short of the 81 minutes of hardship endured by Maya, the simian heroine of Disneynature's new nature documentary...

  • Review: 'True Story'
    Review: 'True Story'

    "True Story" is a case of a well-crafted film, made by a first-time feature director with an impressive theatrical pedigree, that nonetheless struggles to locate the reasons for telling its story.

  • In 'Unfriended,' horror comes to life online
    In 'Unfriended,' horror comes to life online

    The new horror flick "Unfriended," which opens April 17, unfolds completely on a computer screen. In the film a teenager and her friends are terrorized by a digital stalker seeking revenge for a shaming video that led to a suicide.

Comments
Loading

63°