Without question, Kevin Hart is one of the biggest stand-up comedians in the world, one of only a handful of stand-up performers to have ever sold out Madison Square Garden. You may recognize Hart from his widely popular YouTube clips, from having been featured in numerous movies, including Scary Movie 3, Along Came Polly andSoul Plane or from starring in the lead role on BET’s fictional reality series Real Husbands of Hollywood. Or you may have been like me, and known of him and his Hollywood-handsome-meets-signature-short-height looks, but not known much more than that. Either way, the comedy film Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain will turn you into a serious fan after watching this offering of his hysterical stand-up material.
Let Me Explain is predominantly a filming of Hart during one of the sold-out MSG shows from his 2012 “Let Me Explain” tour. The film’s first portion is a mini-movie in which Hart and his cronies are at a party but Hart just can’t seem to get out of a funk. People are asking him questions about all kinds of gossip and he finally decides to “spontaneously” perform in order to dispel all the rumors. Here, the excitement builds for the viewer – followingHart in his giant SUV from the party to the theater. From the moment Hart decides to perform at the Garden, the movie’s level of funny rises. Beginning with a backstage pump-up dance to “Eye of the Tiger” until the moment the credits roll, the laughs are ever-present and free-flowing.
En route to the theater, we quickly travel around the world with Hart and are shown glimpses of his many performances while engaging rap music plays in the background. Seeing and listening to the enthused fans who gathered in Canada, England, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Holland only gears you up more to finally arrive with Hart at “tonight’s” performance. We see Hart address the crowds he performed for around the world and he is genuine, appreciative and warm. It’s impossible not to like this man already. This opening sequence also gives us an inside look inside the tour bus with his compadres, who include writing partners, fellow comedians, and the group’s resident barber. The way they joke and tease each other easily portrays deep male companionship and Hart always has these guys by his side. Watching them each, exhausted and cranky, complain to the camera about Hart’s decision to take a tour bus instead of a plane in order to bond is hilarious insider footage.
It took time for Hart to develop a unique comedic style and become a leading force in the stand-up world. Harteventually found his rhythm by delving into his own experiences and insecurities. In Let Me Explain, Hartdiscusses many such personal topics, including his recent divorce. The divorce was reported to have been caused by “irreconcilable differences” and Hart bases a large portion of his routine on relationship struggles and the differences between genders.
One element that makes Hart’s stand-up so exciting and hilarious is his ability to do different voices, or characters. An “angry female” character he portrays is one of his best. Hart is generally very physical and includes a lot of movement into his humor and impersonations. He moves incredibly well and this adds exponentially to watching him perform. Hart is also able to write while on the stage and there are many moments that show obvious improvisational genius.
Hart also discusses dealing with his level of fame, his experience taking ecstasy, germophobic fears and his habit of lying frequently. “There’s nothing worse than telling a dumb ass lie and getting caught telling a dumb ass lie,” he reflects. At one point, Hart states that he’s a “weird thinker” and he must be to come up with some of this stuff. But all of the truly great comedians really are.
After approximately 60 minutes of a slam-dunk routine, in which Hart barely takes a moment to catch his breath, we watch him receive his well-deserved standing ovation from the crowd. He just barely holds back tears when he sincerely addresses the crowd: “This is a f…. dream come true. Thank you for being loyal, thank you for growing with me, thank you for enjoying me.” It’s hard not to yell back at the screen, “No, thank you, KevinHart!”
The DVD offers special features perfect for learning more about Hart, something I was eager to do after finishing the film. “No No No, Let Us Explain” is a behind-the-scenes look at the tour and filming via a group interview with Hart’s array of bros. It’s incredibly interesting to hear his friends’ thoughts on what makes Hart such an exceptional performer and on their experiences. They attribute his success to many different characteristics, including his likability, relatable and transparent nature and self-deprecating humor. Writing partner, Harry Ratchford, says how Hart “leave a piece of himself with the audience”, allowing them “to get to know who he really is.” The DVD’s “Backstage Pass” feature is an interview with Hart discussing the filming of the movie, his tour and his career in general. “Traveling the world, telling jokes,” Hart states. “I don’t think you can do better than that. I’m doing what I love and laughing while people are laughing as well.” The special feature offerings also include numerous music videos from artists including Snoop Dogg, Method Man, American Antagon1st and Doeshun.
Let Me Explain is one of the best stand-up films in recent years and we can expect for Hart’s following and fame to keep on growing. After watching this film, you will be right alongside me, actively seeking out his future projects.