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After selling out the entirety of Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia native Kevin Hart not only made stand-up history, he also made a concert film commemorating that very feat. Unfortunately, history making performance or not, this concert film isn't worth your typical theatrical admission, as Kevin Hart: What Now? is so short, it's over before you know it - even with some extra, more theatrical padding.
When Kevin Hart came home to Philadelphia, he brought down the house by selling out an entire football field. But his trademark blend of observational humor was almost lost to the world that night, as he became embroiled in a plot to thwart a ruthless terrorist in a high stakes card game. The story of what happened that night, and the performance that ensued afterwards, are the focus of the movie Kevin Hart: What Now?
The biggest problem with Kevin Hart: What Now? is the fact that it barely qualifies as a theatrically released film, clocking in at 96 minutes with bookending segments that create a Scary Movie style parody of spy / action films for Hart to star in, alongside guest stars Halle Berry, Ed Helms, and Don Cheadle. Hart's spy antics wear their influences on their sleeve, with Casino Royale and The Equalizer providing the main influences for these segments. While Kevin Hart and Halle Berry's bantering spy couple could be worth a film of their own, you can tell this part of the film is merely to lengthen the runtime of the film. Considering the trailers and television spots for Kevin Hart: What Now? give away 90% of the jokes in these segments, they're rendered even more useless.
As far as the stand up segments go, there's no major complaints there. Kevin Hart does his thing, and the quality of the humor is really dependent on how much of a Hart fan you are. Of course, seeing as there's an entire stadium of fans to be seen, the one big drawback of Kevin Hart: What Now? is that it never fails to remind you of the size and scope of the crowd. This leads to a lot of camera sweeping, and several shots of the entire stadium from the typical "bird's eye view" you'd expect from a football game. It gets distracting, especially considering most stand-up specials keep their focus on either the comedian making the jokes or the audience's reaction to those jokes landing.
The fact that Kevin Hart has made stand-up history with his record-breaking gig is nothing to overlook. However if Kevin Hart: What Now? decided to focus more on Hart's roots in Philadelphia, and the truly momentous nature of his gigantic accomplishment, it might have made this film more worth seeing in a theater. But as a barely extended stand-up special that seems better fit as an HBO or Pay-Per-View event, this concert film isn't worth the prices most theaters charge for admission. Still, if you're a big Kevin Hart fan, and if you aren't interested in any of the weekend's other options, then Kevin Hart: What Now? might be something you'll have fun with.