Netflix Movie Review: The Man from Toronto

Kevin Hart is one of the best standup comedians to come around in decades. His rhythm, story telling and comedic timing is always about the best there is. Years ago Hart would release his standup acts as a movie and as far as comedy, these films are his best. Unfortunately as far as Hart releasing a comedy movie that even comes close matching to his talent as a standup comedian, this has not happened yet. Part of this is creating a great comedy screenplay is very rare and the other part is, perhaps Hart is better off just doing standup movies when it comes to comedy.

Hart has made several very good serious movies over the years including “The Upside” with Brian Cranston and most recently “Fatherhood” released on Netflix. A better career path would be to continue with the serious roles, considering how bad the new movie “The Man from Toronto” is.

The story of The Man from Toronto is that Hart is mistaken for a hit man played by Woody Harrelson. Being mistaken from a criminal or killer has been done several times in Hart’s past movies, including the two “Ride along” movies made with Ice Cube. We have all seen this idea too many times, with Hart trying to act like he is a killer that has never been funny. How this mistaken identity happens has to do with printer toner that gives Hart’s character the wrong address to a cabin at a resort, where he is mistaken for Harrelson. Considering that Hart is a short black man and Harrelson is a normal height white man, this mistaken identity given their considerable physical differences makes the entire idea more implausible just due to word of mouth with the other criminals involved. The remaining movie are several well done fight scenes, explosions, chase scenes and a retread of what we have all seen too many times before.

There is the standard movie-vomit-scene where Hart’s character vomits all over two people with the ongoing mysterious belief from too many directors where this is seen as something funny to throw into bad movie. In no movie is someone vomiting on someone else going to make it better. As a matter of fact too much vomiting is a tell-tale sign that this is yet another very bad film.

Other famous actors in this movie include Ellen Barkin and Kaley Cuoco and given their small parts and this bad script its a wonder why they both agreed to make this film.

The Rotten Tomatoes ratings for this Netflix movie are a very low 25% and unfortunately I do agree with this assessment and do not recommend this movie.

HBO Max Series Review: The Flight Attendant

For the majority of people in the world who hate to fly, its a mystery why anyone would want to have a job where you are flying constantly and living in hotels around the world. In the HBO Series “The Flight Attendant”, Cassie Bowden, played by Kaley Cuoco is not only a Flight Attendant, but a raging alcoholic.

During a routine flight to Rome, Cassie has a one night stand with one of the passengers  Alex Sokolov, played by Michiel Huisman, gets very drunk and the next morning – she finds him dead in bed with her the next morning, with his throat cut.  Cassie has no idea what happened the night before because she blacked out from drinking so much. For the rest of this series, Cassie tries to figure out why Alex was murdered.  What makes this story extremely unusual is that Cassie is visited/haunted by Alex frequently as they both try to figure out clues as to who murdered Alex, and more importantly, try to understand why Cassie drinks so much.  Cassie’s dangerous drinking habit is directly tied to her abusive father and her relationship with her brother Davey Bowden, played by T.R. Knight. This investigation along with Alex of Cassie’s drinking problem is by far, the best part of this story. The story idea with a dead person who is murdered at the beginning of a story, visiting someone so frequently is an unusual and risky concept for any screenwriter. For this series, this new approach mostly seems to work.

One issue I have with this story, is its endlessly winding, and overly complex mystery/comedy that is at times more frantic than entertaining. The acting is very good throughout, including Cassie’s best friend Megan Briscoe, who has her own legal and dangerous problems, played by Rosie Perez. Cassie’s other friend and lawyer Ani Mouradian, played by Zosia Mamet is both endlessly annoyed and supportive of Cassie’s never ending life threatening problems.  

The Rotten Tomatoes review of this series is a too high 98%, my rating is around 80%, mostly for the interesting ideas attempted in this series.  Overall, I do recommend The Flight Attendant.