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With: Kevin Hart
Written by: n/a
Directed by: Leslie Small, Tim Story
MPAA Rating: R for pervasive language including sexual references
Running Time: 75
Date: 07/05/2013

Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain (2013)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Hart Burn

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

On the whole, Kevin Hart's material veers toward the lowbrow and doesn't quite hit the heights of cleverness, talent, language or delivery that predecessors like Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock reached. Ranging between cockiness and buffoonery, Hart is at his best when he lands somewhere in the middle, making fun of himself and his celebrity, rather than skewering his friends, former girlfriends, and employees. (He doesn't even generate much warmth when talking about his kids.)

At a party, comedian Kevin Hart is accosted by many of his guests, asking him pointed questions and showing general disapproval for the things he has said and done. He decides to "explain" everything by putting on a show at Madison Square Garden and storms out of the party. After showing all the places he's been in the world in flashbacks, he goes on stage (where he has a "shooting fire" effect). He talks about being divorced, relationships, and his relationships with his kids. Finally, when he finishes, he's moved to tears by the audience's appreciation and for being one of only a few comedians ever to play the Garden.

The movie's best moment comes when Hart accidentally cracks himself up during a routine about bums (saying the phrase "bum bump"). His genuine laughter there is quickly infectious. Otherwise, this is a case like Eddie Murphy's Raw (1988), wherein the enormous success of the comedian has resulted in a movie that tries too hard to build energy out of mediocre material. Regardless, though newcomers won't be converted, Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain does have enough laughs to make it worthwhile for fans.

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