Judge Patrick Naugle's stand-up career ending before it began.
Witness the rise of a legend.
Comedian Kevin Hart (The Is The End) brings his edgy, controversial stand up comedy to the big screen in Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain. Hart has travels all across the globe and finally reaches a true epoch of his career: playing to a sold out crowd in New York City's prestigious Madison Square Garden. Hart relentlessly skewers everyone from rap celebrities who use flames in their concert acts to clueless best friends and even the mother of his children. No one is safe from Kevin Hart's bombastic assault on the senses…but don't worry, just let him explain!
I love good stand up comedy. Love, love, love. There's something about a well timed joke that can put me in a good mood for days. Since high school (and even before that) I've been discovering professional comedians that really know how to put me in hysterics. I can still remember sitting down with my family to watch the classic 1980s special Bill Cosby Himself on HBO, and going into fits of hysterics; just thinking about Cosby's stories involving chocolate cake and the dentist make me smile.
Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain was one of the most grueling, laugh-free hours of my entire life. Even at an abbreviated 75 minutes, Hart's routine felt like an absolute eternity. I know I sound out of touch and stodgy, but when did referring to women as "bitches"—over, and over, and over again—become vogue? It was like watching Eddie Murphy Raw all over again (a stand-up film I also dislike). I know that black people have the special privilege of being able to use the N-word, but for a word that has become synonymous with hurt and oppression, it seems almost offensive—no matter who drops it—to use it as a punch line for almost every joke Hart has to tell. If that last sentence made your toes curdle, you'll do we'll to stay as far away as you can from Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain.
Hart can be a funny guy on film (he was in Scary Movie 3 and Scary Movie 4, both times making me laugh), but his stand-up material leaves much to be desired. Smug, cocky, and seemingly without a hint of a moral center, Hart prattles on endlessly about how much of a liar and a cheat he is (it's apparently what helped end his marriage). He notes that he feels no remorse about lying and cheating on his wife, which makes him about as endearing as a cactus super glued to your private parts. Why would I want to listen to this guy brag about having sex behind his wife's back and act like it's a cool thing to do?
Most of Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain is in this vein. Hart's comedy comes fast and furious, almost as if he's trying to compensate for the material being thin and rather trite by speeding through the film like a Japanese bullet train. I honestly found nothing to like in this movie; Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain is obnoxious and morally ambiguous, featuring a selfishly loathsome star. That's not funny…it's just sad.
Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen in 1080p high definition. Overall Lionsgate has done a fine job on this transfer—the colors and black levels all appear well saturated and sufficiently clear. There isn't a lot of 'pop' to this transfer as it mostly just stays on Hart as he pounces around the stage. The soundtrack is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Surround in English. There are some directional and surround sounds at play here, but often this is a front heavy mix (especially when the camera is focused squarely at Hart). Also included are English, French, and Spanish subtitles.
Extra features for Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain include a few short featurettes ("No, No, No, Let Us Explain," "Backstage Pass") and some music videos ("Let Me Explain" Title Song Video, "Let Me Explain" Theme Song, "Pop Off") by musicians Erick Sermon, Snoop Dogg, Method Man, RL, American Antagon 1st, and Ray Ray & Ruck. Also included is a standard DVD and digital copy of the film.
Look, I realize that there are a lot of fans out there who love Kevin Hart's style of comedy (clearly, since he sold out Madison Square Garden and is one of the hottest comics on the planet right now). If you think Hart's style and delivery are great, more power to you—comedy is a subjective art form, and what's funny to one is stone-faced to another. Personally, I didn't find Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain to be amusing in the least. I guess I'll just go home and shake my fist at the neighbor kids from my porch.
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