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The rise and rise of Kevin Hart has been a show-business phenomenon over the past few years – Dave Chappelle now has whole stretches of standup devoted to his mixed feelings on the subject. But Hart’s brilliant hyperactive comedy has been dampened and smothered in this disappointingly unfunny showcase, which he has produced and co-scripted with five other credited writers.
He plays Teddy, a high-school dropout who now desperately needs to pass his GED (General Equivalency Diploma) exam in order to get the job he’s been promised in a merchant bank – and to mollify his fiancee Lisa (Megalyn Echikunwoke). But this means the humiliation of attending special evening classes in his old high school, where the principal is Stewart (Taran Killam), a nerd whom Teddy didn’t like when they were students there, back in the day. And the night school teacher is Carrie (Tiffany Haddish), who is less than impressed with Teddy’s casual attitude.
All the ingredients for a perfectly reasonable comedy would appear to be in place, but nothing catches fire, basically because Hart really has no one to play off. There is no real tension between Teddy and Lisa – who rather disappears from the movie as the evening-class part of the story progresses – and it isn’t clear if we’re supposed to buy into the idea of a possible romantic tension between Teddy and Carrie.
There are some reasonable supporting turns in the class, including the estimable Mary Lynn Rajskub and the veteran comedy stalwart Rob Riggle. But they, too, can find no chemistry with the man himself. Well, Hart has some funny material on discovering that he has dyslexia, which cannot be “cured” in any straightforward sense: “I’ve got learning herpes!”
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Night School review – Kevin Hart fails to make the grade | Comedy films